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open workshop for physical street theater

** additions and corrections below **

September 23-25, 2011
OBRAZ art studio
: Ul. Dostyk 276 / Ul. Mitin
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Friday 19:00-21:00
** Saturday 14:00-18:00
** Sunday 14:00-17:00, Arbat: 19:00-20:00

We begin on Friday evening with games to warm us up physically, mentally and emotionally for an intensive 3-day experience. On Saturday, we continue for around 6 hours with a lunch break, using our bodies to express political and personal topics — through elements of pantomime, butoh dance and rebel clowning — „Run away from the circus!“ On Sunday we will work mostly with stage presence and each participant’s own topics. In the evening, those who want to present their works-in-progress will put on makeup and perform short scenes or living installations together in a public place: Arbat.

This workshop is a space for artists who wish to explore different aspects of theater that uses no dialogue, as well as for musicians who wish to improve their jestures, movement and contact to the audience, or to add short skits to their performances. People who are completely new to theater may also find inspiration to continue working theatrically.

Participants who are experienced in different types of theater may show the rest of us a thing or two — we have been teaching theater for many years and are happy to get new ideas, techniques and inspiration!

** OBRAZ suggests a donation of 1000 Tenge or more for the workshop. However, we do not want to exclude anyone from participating, so you may pay less and find another way to help us keep this open theater project rolling.

Participants should wear comfortable clothing that can get dirty. Bring any props, costumes or music instruments that you want to work with.

longjohn >> longtail

July 28, 2011
中国乌鲁木齐 (Urumqi, China)

My bike died.
No, it wasn‘t run over by that truck in Luang Prabang.

The steering on the long long-john broke. Again and again and again.

(We rarely had a day’s rest when we rode with the longjohn that we built in Wuhan.)

So we made a long-tail!

The Chinese junkyards are far from the city, but we got the parts for only a few yuan. Bruno and Ballaque got in some welding practice. The neighbors stared.

Now i just need to learn how to pack it . . .

broken Kazakh roads

August 9, 2011
Дружба, Kazakhstan

As we rode away from Alashankou, China, the hills on both sides of our potholed road faded into the distance, and Asia fell eagerly away behind us. Our first breakfast of freshly baked black bread, butter, almonds and cheese since we left Russia one year ago . . . no more rice for 3 meals per day! no more chopsticks! no more soy sauce! no more chili with MonoSodiumGlutamat!

We attempted to camp near the train station, but although two ununiformed cops told us we could stay, the sherif drove us out of town — a good thing in the end, because instead of awakening amidst a lot of people in the village, the wind rocked our sleeping bags and with the first sun peeping over the sandy hills, we set off down the road to Almaty.

We were excited about our first full of day of cycling since Vientiene 2 months earlier — no more mountains or exhausting heat or impassable 2000km wide deserts! However, after 45 km we had long since expected to find a town, and with the night came the rain. Then a collumn of white refridgerator trucks carrying crabs and lobsters from China (local food!) stopped next to us. They‘re going to Almaty . . . why not put the bikes -under- the trucks and go with them? Our map was wrong anyway, and the potholes were taking over the entire road.

Two days and two nights in the trucks jump started our Russian language skills and filled our stomaches with shashlik, pototatoes and lots of eggs at roadside restaurants. The truckers were happy to share their stories and food with us.

Kazakh orphanage

In Almaty, there is a boarding school for teenagers who have had difficult lives.
Some are orphans, while others are not allowed to live with their families. The DARA Foundation invited us to show these kids juggling, acrobatics and theater. After 5 exhausting mornings in this locked building, the kids finally gathered together on the day of the performance and held the attention of a handful of relatives and teachers who came to watch the show.

The performance included one 15 year old on our bamboo stilts. He and several other kids showed so much enthusiasm that we built a pair of wooden stilts for them and left instructions for building more — that was, in fact, quite an adventure:
We went to the market and asked around if anyone would donate material for stilts for the kids. One person who spoke English said, „Sure, даваи! (Let’s go!)“ And so, straps, wood, screws, and even knee pads were donated by different people. A car mechanic cut the tyres for the bottom and even did a lot of the wood work himself. We wanted to build the stilts together with the kids, but they‘re not allowed to leave the school . . .

help kids to take action against waste

To accompany our discussions about waste and where Stuff comes from, there are new videos from PBS in English for kids. If you would like to provide dubbing or subtitles into any language for these or any other short environmental videos, please contact us!

Orange Juice
Juice Boxes
Happiness Store