Metamorphoses of Death, Memory and Presence- Translated by Anda MacBride
Ruggero Bianchi – Minor Notes on a Borderline Artist
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Minor Notes on a Borderline Artist
Whenever I try to write about Kantor, and whatever efforts I make to analyze the manifold aspects of his oeuvre, he always seems to me a perfect model of the total artist at work. His way of dealing with and relating to his actors and himself live on stage, of directing himself not only as a performer but also as a director, appears to me remarkable, if not unique. In my experience, his impressive presence and role in The Dead Class are unmatched, even when I compare him with other foremost figures of the avant-garde theatre of the late 20th century.
I am thinking here of Julian Beck, for example, whose physical and emotional impact was primary and irreplaceable, even when, in acting or performing, he did not have a leading role. The Living Theatre in its early years was a close-knit ensemble, though anomalous at the time, a vocal and gestural chorus within which Beck happened sometimes to play the part of the coryphaeus, especially when directly addressing his audience and/or conveying his radical, anarchist and pacifist messages to them. Basically, however, even in his happenings or improvised actions, Julian was just one among the others, never a secret witness (like Jerzy Grotowski), an inner eye (like Elizabeth LeCompte) or an invisible, active observer/controller (like Eugenio Barba). Above all, he was never an artist/a director on stage, as Kantor was. If his...
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