Contemporary experience negotiates a multiplicity of perspectives. The earth, small as it is, contains many worlds. Performance, rooted in the experience of how perspectives touch, overlap and collide, continues to afford us with opportunities for reflection about the worlds we inhabit — reflection that is singularly meaningful because it occurs in the presence of others. Opportunities for such reflection seem to be getting rarer and rarer. Yet despite the pressure, the incredible persistence of live art in contemporary life proves that we want to see ourselves in relation to others. That we want to see ourselves collectively revealed within the universe. That we need to.
World Stage 2015 presents works that push the metaphor of collective self-reflection into the present. The mirrors these works present are not flat surfaces. Instead, we think of them like bubbles, reflective surfaces with the translucency of air and water — what we breathe and what we are. Bubbles possess other qualities too, which make me think that they’re a good metaphor for the experience World Stage offers. They are playful. Elusive. Unpredictable. Fun. They are also fragile and temporary.
As temporary as a fit of laughter, or as flowers in bloom. As fragile as peace, tolerance and civil society. Like performance itself, they are here and then they vanish.
So in this tiny blip of our lives on the planet, let us partake in the enduring communion of culture — always the promise of a liveable future — which your being here helps to maintain. See the worlds of these artists. See our world. See yours.
Artistic Director, World Stage