Thursday, 27 November 2008

Myth, Ritual and Invisible Theatre

The last steam train passing through Strawberry Hill in 1967

What does myth mean?

As I was slightly confused as to the exact definition of a myth I have put the dictionary definition below:

'1a A traditional story that embodies popular beliefs or explains a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.'

In 1957, a French theorist Roland Barthes was interested in current cultural myths and he believed that they are important in society as it keeps it together.

What are current types of myths?

Christmas, health, the credit crunch, Marriage, fairy stories. I thought that it was interesting when Mark told us about the Olympics being a myth which I was unaware of. From Mark's fact it made me wonder weather myths are in almost everything in day to day life? As Molly later brought up that a memory is a myth. Telling a myth is something that happens in a community to sometimes show their identity.

I like the idea that telling a myth is a way of looking at difficult themes, as you are telling the persons story in an indirect way. Also, I think it may encourage people to talk about their stories and memories in a less awkward way or even without realising it. If I have people with difficult issues in my placement I would like to use myth to help encourage to talk about them.

There are different types of Ritual such as:

SOCIAL - Morning routine, Football chants, Tea drinking.

RELIGIOUS - Marriage, Preying, Christening.

AESTHETIC - Art, Tattoos, piercing.

A ritual will have a transformation weather it be a physical, social or mental one. During the transformation there will be a liminal space which is the in between state where you are not yet transformed.

In the lesson we made a map of the Uni with pieces of paper stating the place and memory of there. It was quite funny doing this as it brought back so many hilarious and warm memories of times at Uni. After we got into groups and picked a location at Uni to perform the chosen memory of that place. Me, Simona, Flick and imaginary Donna chose Strawberry Hill Station and our memory was when we all first met in the first year. When we rehearsed on the platform we did get some strange looks from people!! This type of theatre is called invisible Theatre by Augusto Boal.

When we were watching each of the pieces at the sites around Uni, I felt quite nervous but excited as I did not know what was going to come next especially if the public were involved. When Danielle's group were performing I felt quite nervous for the security guard as I was unsure weather they told him it was a performance or not. After the performances this is something that came up should we tell the people that are involved in our pieces before we preform it or not? I think that Monsay made a valid point that if it was something I would not be willing to do I would not do it to them! I think that if you tell the people before I do not think the performance will be as real and you will not get the same effect. I think if you are not damaging their property or hurting them I do not see why they would get angry or offended and need to tell them before hand.

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