Thursday, June 13, 2013

In Rehearsal: Echo and Narcissus

The Silver Moth Ball is coming up in just over a week, and the Acting Company and Making Theatre groups are preparing some short performances/interactions to show on that evening.

I posted some pictures earlier of some rehearsals, but here are some more! There are also video clips of some improvisational work the group did. These are all based on the story of Echo and Narcissus. Here's a brief summary:

Echo was a nymph who fell in love with the vain and womanizing Narcissus. Echo had been cursed, though, and couldn't speak except to mimic what other people said. Narcissus, of course, couldn't be moved to love her, so she pined away until nothing was left but her voice, the echo.
Narcissus, meanwhile, was punished by the gods for being such a heart breaker. He was cursed to fall in love with someone-- or something-- that could never love him back. This turned out to be his own reflection, which he saw in a spring in the woods.  He stayed by the fountain, trying to grab hold of his reflection, but could not. Eventually, he turned into a flower-- the narcissus.

The full story of Echo and Narcissus is found in Book III of Ovid's Metamorphoses. You can read a translation of Book III through the MIT Classics site here.

Lorraine and Vince create an Echo and Narcissus dance.

We're hoping to take some of the gestures and moves that we came up with in this improv session and turn them into a dance for the group to do! 
Below: Israr and Jack are each others' reflection, while Susan, as Echo, is drawn to them. Meanwhile, the other Echoes are crouched by the tree, pining away. (FYI: this is just a practice tree; we're getting a super snazzy one made especially for the ball!)
To the cold water oft he joins his lips, 
Oft catching at the beauteous shade he dips 
His arms, as often from himself he slips. 
Nor knows he who it is his arms pursue 
With eager clasps, but loves he knows not who. 
The women, all as Echo, follow Howard (pretending to be a party guest) around All Space. 

This love-sick virgin, over-joy'd to find 
The boy alone, still follow'd him behind: 
When glowing warmly at her near approach, 
As sulphur blazes at the taper's touch, 
She long'd her hidden passion to reveal, 
And tell her pains, but had not words to tell: 
She can't begin, but waits for the rebound, 
To catch his voice, and to return the sound.

Jack and Israr are each others' reflections.

For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn, 
Whom the sad Echo answers in her turn; 
And now the sister-nymphs prepare his urn: 
When, looking for his corps, they only found 
A rising stalk, with yellow blossoms crown'd.