2019 Taiwan International Festival of Arts
Produced by Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group
Mythology Upon the Table
Director — Baboo Liao
Performers— Hyung Seok Jeon、Kanako Hayashi、Russ Ligtas、Sharanya Ramprakash、Lin Sulien, Hsiao Dongyi, Liu Yencheng
Assistant Director — Wen Szuni
Producer — Yang Pohan
Stage — Li Polin
Lighting — Teng Chengwei
Music —Blaire Ko
Video — Sun Rayhung
Costume — Chen Jamo
Choreography — Liu Yencheng
Stage manager— Teng Hsiangting
Graphic —Aaron Nieh
Promotion photo — Benjakon
photography —— Etang Chen
Mythology Upon The Table originates from my work for the exchanges in a directors’ workshop at the Lincoln Center in New York last year. At that time, I chose American playwright Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, and converted the mythology narrated in a hero’s point of view into a narration by other characters surrounding the hero. The story was set at the table of a dinner banquet. Performers told the story while improvising with all sorts of objects on the dinner table to create such micro visual-audio elements as scenes and sounds.
Based on the format, I began to wonder: As a director from an island country in Asia, what kind of perspective should I use to tell an Ancient Greek mythology? Why should we explore mythologies? What kind of connection exists between Greek mythologies and us? How are we going to narrate Asian mythologies and civilizations that belong to us?
Consequently, I invited seven artistic creators from five different countries, including actors and actresses, choreographers, visual and video artists, and performance artists, to gather around a table and prepare a feast of mythologies. Through the development of collective creation, the story was divided into seven chapters: “Hero,” “Female,” “Others,” “Metamorphosis,” “Politics,” “Gods and Goddesses,” and “Home.” Each of the chapters was named after a mythological character, in which the performers introduce their own experiences, cultural backgrounds and personal perspectives to challenge and question each other via dialectic discourses, and then eventually direct the whole concept to a broader spectrum covering different nationalities, regions, homes and modern Asian societies.
In the name of mythology, this production is the passing-on, exchange, occupation and re-telling of a story through self-contemplation via the eyes of “others.” Like water showing various shapes and forms in different vessels, the story aims to echo Odyssey’s endless life journey of wandering on the sea.
Review on I/O “L’odyssée asiatique”(link)
Graphic Design — Aaron Nieh