What does it mean to occupy space? How do we feel about occupation movements? These are questions that are explored via dance, interactive media and debate in Rafau Sieraczek’s Imagine a Spectacle.
Staged inside the old shipbuilder’s chapel now known as The Space, the audience sits amid the performers – a hint that spectating is not the only task required. The show begins with two Laban-trained dancers moving in awkward patterns while an audio track plays an interview discussing space. Next up is a group of street dancers that flip from floor to ceiling with a simultaneous video showcasing their moves in an urban setting.
It is then we meet Rafau, a classically trained pianist, dancer and now theatre artist. He speaks directly to the audience presenting filmed interviews with renowned Italian philosopher and sociologist Antonio Negri and the organiser of the Teatro Valle Occupation movement Fulvio Molena.
The audience is consumed with thought-provoking information that Rafau uses to his advantage. Pen and paper are brought out with a call to action: Get up and write down your thoughts. One by one, the audience make their way to the front, excited to be included in the show.
In a last effort to collectively interact audience and performers, the show connects via Skype with activist Danny Shine. Passers-by in Hyde Park now also have the opportunity to respond to Rafau’s inquisition: What does it mean to occupy space?
While technical glitches and clunky dance performances give the show a slightly amateur feel, the creative use of interactive elements and above all making the spectators think on a lazy weekend afternoon is impressive. Rafau clearly has big ideas which he nicely throws back to the audience.
For Sunday’s final show, he urges everyone to think about occupation and how it affects daily life. ‘Spectacle Week’, as he calls it, is on. Don’t be afraid – shoot him an email with your thoughts – you too can be an occupation activist.