"Let me not ... dwell on this barren isle by your spell, but free me from these bonds by the help of your kind hands." (Final monologue of Prospero from The storm by William Shakespeare)
Applause is a fixed appointment in classical theatre. At the end of the play, the actor enters the stage for the first time "without" his role - a paradox of illusion theatre, which nevertheless strives to create an illusion throughout the evening.
In a theatre of encounter, the applause ritual does not exist. An encounter of two people does not end with applause, but with a farewell.
"Bachelard's interest is in the simple poetic images that disturb the reader of a poem or a novel, do not let him go, 'take root in him'. Where does this power of the image come from? Psychoanalysis has tried - e.g. by means of dream interpretation - to dissolve the image intellectually and to trace it back to a hidden desire. 'The analyst explains the flower from the fertiliser', Bachelard counters. In his view, the poetic image is something absolutely primal, the imagination therefore one of the deepest human capacities.
Gaston Bachelard (b.1884, d.1962) was originally a natural scientist before turning to philosophical interests after a long period at school. It was not until 1930 that he began his university career, and in 1949 he was appointed to the chair of the history of science at the Sorbonne, a post he held until 1954." | Source: Gaston Bachelard: Poetik des Raums. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer Verlag, 1997.
Theater Anu repeatedly comes across the writings, books and theories of Gaston Bachelard in the production phases of his productions. Bachelard himself oscillated between science and art in his writing, thus creating a scientific basis for the poetic and allowing science to become poetised art. Titles like "The Lamp Dreamer" or terms like "light work" or the "rêverie", the "reverie by small light" can be traced back to him. The connection between poetic images, beauty and happiness - as a moment of liveliness and joy, not gambling - is also found in Bachelard, who characterises the poetic image as "a direct reference of one soul to another, a meeting of two beings who feel happiness". Any artist concerned with poetic forms will find an ally in Gaston Bachelard. We were particularly inspired by his book "The Flame of a Candle".
In Theater Anu's theatre work we do not speak of spectators but of visitors (see also under spectators). Be-seeking indicates active and purposeful action. The human being as a seeker, but also as a guest whose coming wants to be prepared. In the theatre installations, visitors are like travellers exploring a foreign land. They can come into contact with the inhabitants living there, but they don't have to. The degree of their willingness to participate, however, determines what and how much they will experience. To stage for a visitor means to formulate theatre as an offer. The theatre-maker creates a space of possibility, with stories and encounters. The visitor, however, makes the decision himself whether or not he wants to engage with the offers. This is important because the theatre-maker cannot know what the visitor can find for himself in the prepared staging.
The concept of the spectator per se implies a great distance from the event. A spectator is spatially separated from the actual event. Being a spectator is the most distant form of perceiving an event. To be "less" than a spectator would mean not to experience the event. But the attitude of the spectator is also a distanced one. He does not intervene, does not come to the rescue, he always remains on the edge, on the border between going in and turning away, without even considering one or the other - if then the latter.
In the best case, we could still expect the spectator to be a witness, someone who has witnessed an event, who can talk about it, who tries to interpret the events from his or her outside perspective. Touching rarely takes place. Now one could counter that the spectator identifies with the protagonists, that through his empathy with the characters he becomes a participant in the events. Is that so? Is this the common experience of a theatre-goer or rather that rare stroke of luck that describes the exception to the rule?
The theatre building is made for the spectator. His place is a fixed one. The action takes place at a safe distance. The event will not reach him physically. In addition, the light is switched off at the spectator's place during the event, so he can attend the event under the protection of darkness, he seems to have become invisible as if through Alberich's invisibility cloak. The spectator is an invisible person. Why has this form of theatre remained so dominant for so long? Why did theatre rely precisely on such an arrangement? The tradition of classical theatre is a tradition of the invisible spectator.
As soon as I engage with the Invisible Spectator, freeing him from his bondage, theatre begins to become an adventure - for visitors as well as for director and actor.