Seems to be fast becoming a new Tracey ritual, the quest to absorb and study the work of one man ? yes it the rather exceptional work of Robert Wilson. Last year I whisked me and the Mr Gibbs off to Dusseldorf to see The Sandman, was an amazing experience front row ! Dusseldorf was fair but bitingly cold and for me not enough art to feast on. So no surprise that I had being keeping a close eye on his upcoming productions, there it was a window of time was there and the idea forming in my head. In true Tracey style I booked a hotel first to make sure we would be going and then counted down the days until the tickets for Turandot a the Teatro Real went on sale, a very nervous Tracey sat waiting for the go on the 15th October!
It was tense!! 365 people were in front of me ! there were only two dates we could do and those cheaper seats would be going fast. Success I had a rough idea where our seats were not bad, definitely not cheap but no choice I had to see something of his on a bigger scale . There we were our first proper opera and first time to Madrid! At least I had consulted the Mr G this time as last year I booked it in a random moment 5.30 am whilst staying somewhere teaching .
I am slightly ashamed to say I was unfamiliar with pre LIPA, there are just not enough superlatives to fully describe his work, indeed it could be foolish for me to attempt it? But nether the less I may try ,for me I find his work so rich in a truly visual way layer upon layer of intricately woven elements from light to colour to scenography ,he has very quickly become one of my main influencers in the creation and thoughts on creating lighting for the stage.one beautiful image after another akin to passing a leisurely heady afternoon with my tome of fashion photography my most loved photography genre VOGUE! Especially the September edition . At times almost reaching sensory overload but such a feast !
We had a few days to explore Madrid from what I can only say is one of best little hotels I have ever stayed at, in a great location for the big two museums close by . We did one a day as I don’t like rushing as then you could miss a gem. Both very easy walking distance from the hotel as was Madrid we discovered, very easy to walk around and so much great food!
Food oh yes we did food ! tapas with attitude and so so delicious , luckily for us one of my dance students just so happens to be from Madrid so with her local recommendations we experienced some fantastic local cuisine , a highlight for me was the small seafood standing room only one opposite our hotel, oysters,scallops good plonk ! heaven
No trip to Spain for me is complete until I have drunk my body weight in Cortardo’s
Madrid did not dissapoint with seemingly dozens of Artisan coffee places nearby happy days
My next project has given me the tiniest of chances to encompass some of his techniques, well a chance to investigate them and have a go interpretating some of my own thoughts around his use of one place on the stage I sometimes feel we all don’t play with enough ... the cyclorama , that combined with the rich references to Baz Luhrmann film has given me the opportunity on the upcoming 3rd year dancers show Romeo & Juliet again at LIPA ,working closely with set designer Mailin Hellend to facilitate this a collaboration from the start. Along with a close working relationship with the director to bring the various choreographers involved pieces together as a narrative piece. I want to bring the rich highly decorated scenic elements along with the richly textured costumes by designer Charlotte Mcadam to life and full of the sense of place and time of day as in the movie . So with this and my dissertation based on his work I was and am completely justified in seeing this first outing of this production.
So here we were, waiting outside this grand opera house watching the well dressed of Madrid mingle with chinking glasses of champagne , to say I was excited would of course be an understatement. Sitting there surrounded by all the gold and glamour, unable to see anything of the front of house rig I just sat and soaked up the atmosphere.
It was amazing, so rich yet stark parred back to the purest movements and went so quick!
Two acts of continued joy for me and I have to say loved the singing ! a new one for me, the best way to really describe it is to say nothing but give you the link to the production images. A worthwhile trip? for sure loaded with ideas and yet more inspiration for both my upcoming show and eek dissertation.
I did however lurk behind as long as possible in the auditorium to have a look at where and what maybe rigged front of house, only Robert Wilson could get away with turning the Royal Box into a rigging point!
you can see the LIPA production of Romeo & Juliet soon see link below to book
more can be seen on my Instagram feed if you like exploring like me