Training for performers- Haiti

Building spaces for creation in Port au Prince- empty but meaningful

What: permanent training workshop
Original title: Training for performers
Original language: French
Period: 2013-2014
Where: Port au Prince – Haiti

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Living in Port au Prince is challenging for everyone. From the point of view of an artist, you learn very soon that the first topic of conversation in the industry is the lack of suitable performance spaces. There are no theatres in Port au Prince, just one wide hall that receives lots of pressures to be used. For this reason the Training for Performers space was created. It was also created to act as an alternative model to the conservative mentality of the European tradition, but incredibly far from the exciting constraints, which make Haiti so suitable for new creations.

I thought: I’m a foreigner, a guest in this country. I don’t want to keep Haitian artists from performing their work in such a desired space, so I started looking for another solution for my projects. To be honest, it took some weeks but finally I found it: a small stage in the back garden of the club Yanvalou. It is such an experience, coming from Europe and being accustomed to performing in protected rooms with wooden floors… In Haiti we performed in an open space, exposed to the weather changes, the rain, the mangos falling down, and to the curious eyes of people passing by. My beliefs about the conditions necessary for training changed. My perspective about theatre research was opened to a more socially interactive context: the social scenario.

In the small stage on the back garden of the club Yanvalou, each week Marilena Crosato opens a training session. She trains herself. Progressively other actors and dancers join the sessions. Haitian, French, Italian… Her background constitutes the base of the physical work: the Lecoq method, the teachings of Maria Consagra – who in turn mixes the Odin Teatret experience and the Rudolf Laban movement analysis- and the Italian Tanztheater. Other influences enter the space such as Haitian traditional dance and the French interest in the analysis of the texts. Some people remain others pass by and leave, all the while the space gains its identity.

  • Yanvalou, Port au Prince-Haiti 2014.
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  • Yanvalou, Port au Prince-Haiti 2014.
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