Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 26: Verisimilitude

I went to a dance show my first year at Stanford, and the director of the traveling company who was performing talked after the show. One of the things she said was that she didn't care if something wasn't physically possible, she wanted to create the illusion - that the impossibility of it was part of the dance, and part of the spectacle. I think magic shows are always like that, self-knowingly like that. But dance sometimes doesn't realize it. You go to shows to see things that aren't real - basically can't be real - but that seem real at the time.

There's something here as in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, too, especially the players -- what's the difference between seeming true and being true; what's the difference between theatre and life? (Obviously there's less difference if you're Rosencrantz or Guildenstern, or even Hamlet.)

And there's also the degree to which seeing the real-seeming can attune you to the real. Or something.

Not sure I like the story, though. Or really know where it was going. But I need to post now, since I'll be at the hotel for the convention all day tomorrow, and their internet is dodgy at best.

It wasn’t a simple illusion, like flying. When you pull an actor up by a harness and swing him across a stage, every audience member knows what is going on: flight. They give you the benefit of the doubt, ignore the wires. They don’t leave the theatre saying “the flight was good, but he should have been on fire too.”

None of that applies to faking emotion. But in return for the difficulty, the ambiguity, and the disbelief, the return was phenomenal. Because flight would always mean one thing, but a good actor in a great scene could redefine love.

No comments: