CROSSING LINES, Pan Optikum
Fri 11th Aug 2017, Goldwell Park, Newbury
An ambitious international production that recruited young people from across Europe, German outdoor performance veterans Pan Optikum worked with Catalan stage director Llorenç Corbella from Tarrega, who last collaborated with them on their spectacular show TRANSITion. The Newbury performance was the result of Pan Optikum's residencies with young international participants at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space and festivals across the continent and as a part of this the young people also made their own site-specific performance on Greenham Common.
As the basis of the project young people from Murmansk, Norway, the UK, the Canary Islands and all over Europe lived and worked together to create a production with social relevance, looking at the question: ‘How can cultural work create a better society, a better community?’
They aimed to use street theatre as an egalitarian medium with no separation or hierarchy between the performer and backstage (each performer was also involved in backstage roles), and chose hip hop and urban dance as a medium that speaks to people all over the world.
The show contained triglingual rap in German, Spanish and English, with one piece devised from the poems of Ted Hughes. Looking at ideas around identity and diversity, they wanted to create cultural work that would oppose the three vices of society – stinginess, greed and egoism.
The result was a high energy performance where the audience were surrounded by pieces of moving and static set at Goldwell Park. The cast performed powerful group movement pieces and leapt between the lit up blocks of moving set, with a finale on a giant wall of projected graffiti, with water raining down on the performers.