Notice how as the sunset is coming to an end the colours become even more intense, brighter and vibrant? – paraphrasing a line from the play
I just saw a wonderfully thought out play about life, unlikely friendships, loneliness and aging presented by Coyote Stageworks at the Annenberg Theatre, which is part of the Palm Springs Art Museum. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks warrants discussion on several life issues such as what it’s like for a woman living alone, toleration and discrimination but with exceptionally witty dialogue.
The play stars Loretta Swit (most recognizable as Hot Lips Houlihan from M*A*S*H TV series) and Broadway Actor David Engel, both of whom I met recently at Village Fest while I was out walking my two dogs among the madness. Infact, I found out about this play from Loretta Swit. Coincidentally and funnily enough when I called to tell my husband about meeting her, he was at home watching an episode of Mash.
Swit plays Lily, an elderly widow who hires Michael (Engel) a gay dance instructor to come to her home to give her lessons from Tango to Swing to Viennese waltz.
Both actors compliment each other incredibly well and are really fun to watch amidst some enjoyable dance moves. They lie and they argue but ultimately they share more similarities than not and what enfolds is revealingly heartfelt. The audience also enjoyed two stagehands who entertained us while swiftly re-arranging the room in between each of the scenes.
They plan to take the play on tour. When it comes to your city I highly recommend seeing it.
I’ve always been attracted to Charlotte Rampling but not in that way…
…because she embodies that “wow factor“ in the same admirable fashion that Cate Blanchett does and Katherine Hepburn did. Very attractive but not in a conventional sense, in a much more interesting manner, smart, confident, a talented actor and so very chic – her own stylishness. Her stage play Neck of the Woods just wrapped at HOME, Manchester, as part of the Manchester International Festival on July 18.
Words with Charlotte Rampling – on working with wolves, the power of the audience and what she means when she calls herself an artist.
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? We all are, it seems.
Charlotte Rampling on the WOLF…
“I think humans have a very profound relationship with animals. Wild creatures are more mysterious to us – we can’t actually approach them so that makes them enigmatic, that’s why we study them and do art pieces around them. There is a lot that goes in people’s imagination about wolves, starting from the basic stories we hear all the time. There is a particular fascination – from the thought that one must be scared or wary of them, to the cultural idea of ‘the big bad wolf’. They have a strange character, they are mysterious, maybe more so than other animals.”
Charlotte Rampling on the power of the AUDIENCE…
“The study of an audience is very important. We are doing it for them so we want to get the best possible angle for them, and to bring them in. You feel when an audience is getting distracted or not quite following, and then you have to really start to understand why they are not with you. Yes, I think that is what live performance is about; you are facing an audience and you are saying it to them. It is not like you are in a play and playing to the people you are playing with; here you are playing to the audience so you must have them with you at all times. If you don’t – well, they are like a pack of wolves and they will take the play away from you if you are not careful. They will turn it into something other. If you let the audience go, you have lost the moment, and essentially you have lost the play.”
Charlotte Rampling on being an ARTIST… “All my life I have followed the thought that if I have already done something, why would I then want to do it again?” So unless the film is really intriguing then to me, it is just another film. I have always gone off the track and have looked at things that I can do that will allow me to see the world in a different way. It is just a basic form of curiosity on my part, to want to discover something and find another way of doing things. What I found is that as you get older your mind actually doesn’t get any older, you just get older physically and you obviously have more experience. Now that I am working with a lot of younger artists, it is very intriguing, as I am able to bring my life with me to the stage. There is a young French artist I am working with called Loris Gréaud. We did a film together with David Lynch called The Snorks, which was an extraordinary project based around animals that live so far underneath the sea that no one has ever seen them and they let out energy through electrics. The relationships that you have with other artists after you have done all these projects brings you into another world, and to me that is what living creatively is all about. I am not an artist per se even though I would love to be, I don’t do sculptures or the like as that is not my profession but I know that I can infiltrate what I have into the works of others.”