Server crashing and people getting frustrated. Audience members feeling left out and betrayed as only 5 stories were selected and the stories were chosen for their length rather than their meaning. People feeling bored watching the process rather than performance. Icons didn’t make sense and the audience felt helpless as a collaborator… The list goes one.
In my opinion, as a piece of theatre, the event was a failure, but when viewing it as the first public beta test, we were successful. The system we had created failed miserably, but we gained a very clear sense of the direction this project needs to develop into, which we couldn’t not have done without the help from public. Thank you to all who contributed with their generous feedback.
We are going back to our original questions about the audience engagement and de-mystifying contemporary dance. There were several fundamental mistakes we made which we are aiming to address for the next beta in Aberystwyth at the end of June.
In the current system, we have too many variables in one pot. Personal stories and abstraction don’t seem to mix in this project. The event also followed a linear choreographic development pattern, which focused too much on the process of creating a short piece leaving too little room for the actual performance. I am wondering about shifting the focus of the main part of the event to the performance and ‘stitching’ the process in the right places with the digital media. This might mean that we need to go down to just 5 TaikaBox dancers and add more dancers once we know how the new system would work. Icons to communicate will need to be re-thought and simplified.
The next PSOYMP will feel very different.