TITLE OF SHOW: Hibakusha Twilight
LENGTH OF SHOW: 60-minutes
INTERMISSION none required
THEME [describe in one sentence]:“Hibakusha” means specifically the survivors of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, but this performance takes the view that we are all of us survivors of the first atomic bomb attacks and that we are all living in a twilight peace.
CONTENT [brief description]: Using its now acclaimed technique of over-laying theatre and dance pieces simultaneously, Robert Greenwood [actor] and Dana Luebke [dancer] weave a multi-layered tapestry of images, visual, vocal, physical and emotional that leave no doubts as to the humanness and the attendant inhumanity of the nuclear age that was born with Hiroshima-Nagasaki. Bob creates over thirty characters, from those who invented the bombe to those upon whom it was dropped to those who would use it again and again to those who would bury their heads in the sand and pretend it never came to be to those whose own horror, even if not directly related to that event, are still witnesses to the era we now call the Nuclear Age. Dana meanwhile is dancing to the internalized scripts of letters written six years after the bombings by children who survived, to Haiku of centuries before, to a Celtic poem that celebrates the life and revitalization of Spring from the 10th-Century and to some Japanese court music.
POINT OF VIEW OF ARTISTS: To try to stay as neutral as possible about the material, letting the dances and the characters make their points to the audience so that, hopefully, the audience, individually and collectively may make some attempt to curtail the use of nuclear weapons, or, now, weapons so horrible, we cannot begin to fathom their destructive nature.
CLASSIFICATION: Festival and Adult, parental guidance suggested. In Edinburgh, one Festival, an artist-friend came to Bob and Dana after the show and said he was glad he had not brought his 13-year old daughter. When asked why, he said, “This is too heavy for her.” Bob replied, “I wonder what the children in Japan felt? They weren’t lucky enough to have someone make such a choice for them.” The friend said, “Damn, I hate people like you. You always make me see a point of view that shatters my carefully constructed way of thinking.”
PRESENTATION [skills used to present show]: The back wall of the stage is covered in white, grey and beige torn clothes. This is the projection screen for images of flowers turning always into the destruction of the bombs, ragged limbs, haunted faces of the inventors, a watch stopped at 08:25. The stage-floor is empty except for the hanging frame for a wedding kimono placed stage-left, in front of which Bob stands, a war-torn figure becoming all the characters. Dana dances nude or in a Japanese loin-cloth depending upon the sophistication of the audience. And overlaid above it all is a faint sound tract itemizing disasters national and international, large and small since 1945. It is a sensuous over-load, a bombing of the senses.
Festival and Adult audiences, but this show is not for the feint-hearted, the intellectually snobbish, the emotionally lazy or the culturally effete. This is a show
CAST: Robert Greenwood (actor) and [Mr.] Dana Luebke (dancer-actor)
WHERE SHOW HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY PERFORMED OR WORLD PREMIERE, ETC.: The world premiere of HIBAKUSHA TWILIGHT was in Edinburgh at the prestigious EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE and the SWANSEA FESTIVAL FRINGE. It has since been seen in Calgary, at the EDMONTON FRINGE FESTIVAL, at the VANCOUVER FRINGE FESTIVAL, in Singapore at the INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FOR THE ARTS, at celebrations for ARUSHA, in Slave Lake, Alberta, and at TSVATA, Tel Aviv, Israel.
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