Thursday, December 6, 2007

Strangers on Tong Chong Street

Posted by Tom Pearson
[Originally published on]

Tara O'Con and Elizabeth Carena
performing in "Strangers on Tong Chong Street"

We finished the new work about an hour ago. We have tech tonight, after a run-thru with TVB 8's television crew for broadcast in China. Tomorrow is the press preview/pre-event cocktail, and the festival begins Saturday morning and runs throughout the day. We will perform a total of six full times, and then hop on a flight back to New York on Sunday morning. Time is moving quickly. Whew! Our artists have been moving full speed ever since arriving, and the challenges of building a work in crunch time is compounded with the physical toll on our bodies with the non-stop rehearsals. In between, we have had photo shoots, lunches with the sponsor, and intermittent costume repairs and amendments. But, we are pleased with the way the work has come together. It feels exciting and dynamic, and yet subtle and nuanced at the same time. But mostly, it feels like it belongs here.

The daily inhabitants have begun to watch us, to turn their chairs out at the cafes or pause on the stairs and bridges to watch. They are warming up to the idea of navigating around our antics, unlike the first week where they would completely ignore us... almost out of embarrassment. Now, we are a bit more contextualized as they've seen the work develop and gotten used to our vocabulary. Also, the security staff and businesses in the area have begun to help facilitate our rehearsals, and there seems to be a growing sense of ownership of what we are creating in the space.

We hope to share some photos and video of the actual work very soon; although, we are not positive we can deliver it in real time. Our focus now has got to shift to full time technical problem solving, but we promise to get a video up as soon as possible.

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