Saturday, January 6, 2018

Under The Radar: The furious diaspora of "Panorama"


Above: Perry Yung
Below: Maura Nguyen Donohue
in Panorama at La MaMa Downstairs
(photo courtesy of La MaMa)


Panorama
presented by La MaMa and Motus as part of The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival


We can look at the word panorama in two ways: One offers an immediate, seamless view of an entire field of vision--a landscape, say, or a seascape; the other breaks that view into its components, revealing a piece at a time, gradually delivering the whole. In the case of Panorama--an evening created by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò, directors of Italy's Motus Theatre Company, with actors of the Great Jones Repertory Company at La MaMa--numerous components scroll or zoom into view, overlap, masquerade as one another, tumble together, bombard the senses and wreak dizzying, amusing, endearing confusion. The whole, we might conclude, is far more interesting than any single part, though the parts can also be fascinating.

How you look at the panorama of Panorama is part of the puzzle and the fun, with live players before you and a number of video monitors showing recorded or live action with actors playing themselves or adopting the biography of someone else in the cast or taking over live from where they began presenting themselves on screen in intimate close-ups. It's eye-popping and colorful and only grows more so--all the way from distracting to hallucinogenic--as the allotted 80 minutes roll out.

The fabric of this panorama interweaves threads of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations and life histories--some exceedingly dramatic--of being uprooted, replanted in unfamiliar territory and, of necessity, reinventing one's self. Through vivid performances and visual excess, the show celebrates theater as model for how we all might survive and thrive--"inclusive and 'migrant'...a real space of welcoming and freedom." It charms us into feeling and understanding the method of its madness as further laid out in the company's program notes:
Panorama puts to the test every attempt at irrevocably fixing people, nationalities, genders, professions in hierarchical and unchangeable categories. It is a furious diaspora.
Furious, yes. Self-indulgent, yes--often and without reservation. And yes, ultimately, a panorama of joy.

Performers: Maura Nguyen Donohue, John Gutierrez, Valois Mickens, eugene the poogene, Perry Yung and Zishan Ugurlu; on video: Billy Clark, George Drance, Gian Marco Lo Forte, Onni Johnson, Julia Martin, Matt Nasser, Patrick Ssenjovu, Shigeko Suga, Christopher Wild and Mia Yoo

Dramaturgy: Erik Ehn and Daniela Nicolò
Music: Heather Paauwe
CultureHub and Seoul Institute of the Arts Production Team 
Video Design: Bosul Kim, Sangmin Chae and Billy Clark
Set Design: Seungho Jeong
Illustration and Animation: Bosul Kim 
Technical Direction: Yarie Vazquez 
Production Assistant: Youngsun Lim

Panorama continues through Sunday, January 21 with performances Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7pm, Sundays at 2pm. For schedule and ticket information, click here.

For schedule and ticketing information of other events in The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival, click here.

La MaMa (The Downstairs)
66 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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