"Vivien and The Shadows
by Ong Keng Sen/ TheatreWorks
World Premiere, 21 October 2008
Memorial Hall, Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts with support from the National Arts Council's International Collaboration Grant (ICG)
Vivien and The Shadows is a soul-stimulating post-modern spectacle that melds film/performance, race, gender and sexuality.
Inspired by the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire, Director Keng Sen gathers some of the best talents in global performing arts and transports us into the fantasy world of Vivien Leighs Blanche DuBois.
He is accompanied by multiple OBIE-winner Karen Kandel, art-burlesque star of the New York underground Julie Atlas Muiz, and the charismatic Charlotte Engelkes from Stockholm. This time round, Keng Sen also returns to the stage and plays an Asian accountant in New York City who transforms to drag queen when sun downs.
The play is penned by acclaimed US-based Singaporean playwright Chay Yew and explores the relationship between copies and originals.
In an interview with Straits Times Life! on 11 August 2008, Keng Sen mentioned that the play is a homage to Leigh and yet it is its own play. He said, Weve created a new character, which is simultaneously an original and a copy. We are treading the fine line between the two things. The art of copying is sublime.
With a talented ensemble that includes soundscapes by pioneering London electronica artist Kaffe Matthews; sizzling videos by CalArts media artist Brian Gothong Tan; set design by Justin Hill; and lighting by Scott Zielinski, Vivien and The Shadows enjoyed a successful premiere in the US and will be re-staged in Singapore in the later half of 2009.
"You are distant, pondering something that happened during breakfast while you were talking with your beloved one. Life is something that might turn its benevolence towards us in the glimpse of a moment, as we look the other way. The focal point of Salve Regina - one of four 'Marian antiphons' - is the plead to the gracious advocate Mary that she may turn her eyes of mercy towards us. The aim is to invoke a circular movement directed towards us. The essence of motion is temporal, as such, elusive. This is not a picture."
This video (1 of 7) is part of a one and a half hour long visual narrative called Ad Nos Converte (Turn towards us). Performing Pictures was commissioned by Radio Sweden (Sveriges Radio) and Radio France to create this art work for the concert "Hommage aux femmes dans la musique: Du romantique à l'électronique". The live video performance of Ad Nos Converte served as a scenography for the concert, which took place in front of a live audience of 2500 at the UNESCO palace in Paris on International Women's Day, March 8, 2013.
Sound art is from the multitalented Charlotte Engelkes' piece 'God is God: Danica'