On 1-4 December (19:30), the Song of the Goat Theatre (ul. Pyrkyniego 1, Wrocław) will host the premiere performances of The Island, choreographed by Iván Pérez Aviles. The piece is an anarchistic game of imagination, led through polyphonic song and contemporary dance, set to a monochromatic stage design. The Island was inspired by Shakespeare The Tempest and the ancient Irish tradition of telling dreams to the dying. The play features 19 performers, including the actors of the Song of the Goat Theatre and dancers led by the outstanding choreographer Iván Pérez.
The eponymous Island is a lonely man driven by desires, obsessions, and longings.
The Song of the Goat Theatre transposes William Shakespear?s The Tempest into the imagination of a demented old man Prospero who, chained to his prison, spends his days dreaming and stargazing. Betrayed and cheated, hehis life is confined to the dreams which he creates himself. Prospero?s imagination is poetic and magnetic. He creates all the characters that surround him; he is each of them at once, and yet does not see them for what they are. Similarly to myth, imagination creates music and dance. The narrative of the old man is illogical, suggestive, and escapes easy descriptions. Prospero recounts his unfulfilled experience and dreams, and a world that does not exist. Formally, his stories are organised as dancing and musical poems. Prospero has been a prisoner for twelve years, and he thus narrates twelve musical poems. The wonderful choreography is accompanied by vocal polyphony. A team of 19 performers shows the mental workings of an old, lonely mad man.
The Tempest is Shakespeare?s last dramatic text, which he wrote with the awareness of the approaching death. It is both a metaphor and a fable. A sorrowful and nostalgic performance, created by the actors of the Song of the Goat Theatre and the dancers of the acclaimed choreographer Iván Pérez Aviles, The Island was directed by Grzegorz Bral; the songs and the script were contributed by Alicja Bral; the music was written by Jean Claude Acquaviva and Maciej Rychły, inspired by traditional Georgian songs.
This is our first project which combines modern choir with contemporary dance on such a scale. It resembles a clash of two elements, invigorating and opening us to new possibilities. Contemporary dance has always intrigued me as a sort of rebellion against fossilized, rigorously imposed social norms. The piece is divided into poems, each of which parallels the act of painting an image using expressive, graphic means of expression, complemented by polyphonic music of the highest order.
As was the case with Songs of Lear, the music was contributed by Jean-Claude Acquaviva and Maciej Rychły. The songs were written by Alicja Bral. The piece is formally economical, featuring raw costumes, and black and white stage design.
The Island is the Song of the Goat Theatre?s second premiere this year, following Crazy God inspired by Shakespeare?s Hamlet.
2016 sees the Song of the Goat Theatre celebrate its 20th anniversary. Having established itself as an international innovator and an avant-garde European company, the theatre has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, where it won the Fringe First, Herald Angel and the Best International Show Edinburgh awards for Songs of Lear (2004), as well as the Fringe First, Herald Archangel and the Special Award/Musical Theatre Matters Award for Return to the Voice (2012), along with the first place in The List critical ranking.
This year sees the Song of the Goat Theatre on a world tour which includes presentations of Songs of Lear in the USA, Spain, Italy, China and Chile. The piece has received raving reviews from the New York Times, the New York Theatre Guide, the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, among others. The Song of the Goat Theatre attracts actors and students from around the world through its unique acting training known as the Coordination Technique.