'Xalisco, a Place' at the Low Fat Art Festival, Bangkok.
“Xalisco, a Place” is a performance piece that reflects the feeling of Latin America. It draws on the novels of Mexican authors Juan Rulfo, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, and Julio Cortázar. It integrates visual arts, dance, theater, lights, and music with direct quotes from the authors allowing audiences to hear the actual words of the writers. Although often associated with magical realism, a literary style that brought the world’s attention towards Latin American literature, the piece takes it further into modern surrealism. Magical realism, indeed, provided the seed, the starting point, as it offered the freedom to develop a story rich with images and meanings embedded deep within the Latin American psyche in a non-linear format. And during the creative process it became evident as a piece that could be applied in modern context, anytime, anywhere. 'Xalisco, a Place' debut in LIFEs Festival in Salihara Jakarta, 2017. It has been developed into a work-in-progress performing in an open rehearsal in Singapore, February 2019, and performed at the Low Fat Art Festival Vol. 3 February 2019, Bangkok, Thailand.
This work-in-progress piece is a production of an international cast and crew. However, different to first production, the cast consist of Singaporeans of Sharda Maxine as the main actress, Salif Hardie as the main actor, and Norhaizad Adam and Caroline Chin as the dancers. Developed with dramaturge Rhoda Grauer, the performance is now more theatrical, emphasizing on the story and text. Although the script is dominated by English, a dedicated scene will be recited in Spanish maintaining the Latin American authenticity.
Press Quote “Xalisco, a Place successfully satisfies art and literature connoisseurs” —Semarak News, “Xalisco, a Place: An Ode to Legendary Latin America Writers”, 17 October 2017 “This performance will open a new insight into Latin America” —Mera Muda, “The Charm of Xalisco at LIFEs”, October 2017 “The performance was a breath of fresh air, especially for stage art which rarely showed installation as the main focus. Wall installations, scrap metal cots, and ground floors became actors with roles....” --Media Indonesia, “Jumping Memories”, 22 October 2017 “A collaboration of international caliber artists!” --Tempo Newspapers, 19 October 2017 “Everyone is pinned with the power of the 4 actors. The lighting focuses on emotions. The scene behind the wall is a shed of a roof that opens a flap with the wind. And dust that is clouded in the air according to the movement of the actors. Everything seemed strange.” — Suwicha Pitakkanakun - The Momentum, Bangkok, 19 February 2019 “Presenting ‘Xalisco, a place’ is an invaluable experience for our festival and also audience to further develop their awareness and knowledge of contemporary performing arts outside across the world and establish new relationships with new art appreciation.” — Wayla Amatathammachad, Festival Director Low Fat Arts Festival 2019. The Jakarta Post, 13 February 2019 “"... with the dusk falling and the moon rising against the clear sky, while from somewhere come the sounds of the children laughing, people chattering, motorbikes roaring and dogs barking, the audience can only be sucked into the play and become one with it." – Desi Anwar, Seniour Journalist at CNN Indonesia. ‘Thonburi: a place’ makes people’s stories part of artistic experience - The Jakarta Post, 6 March 2019.