“Something Happens” is a title occsionaly given to the first performance in frames of my MA research where I turned to the topics of “event”, “unpredictable” and the audience participation. Who could predict it will become a turning point in my art-practice and expand to several years of artistic investigation. Each performance I’ve made since that moment could go under this title. However, I prefer to limit the amount including only the performances developed for theater space and engaging theatre practice. The transition from making works in theatre space to making site-specific works for theatre space brought me to practical investigation of following questions. What are the premises for unexpected to happen during the theatre performance? Improvisation or choreography? Active audience participation or contemplation? Theatre apparatus at work: tools and devices to navigate the attention. Is it possible to interviene in audience’s and performer’s behavior conventions (habits)? Cues and hints as indirect suggestions to a certain behavior (of the audience)? How to deconstruct theatre practice in a performative way?
1. Something Happens at Soda Works Festival, 2017
Evgenia Chetvertkova (2), Liadain Herriot (1), Deva Schubert (3) technical support Diego Agullo
Audiences are invited to take place on the stage. Flowers are hanging from the ceiling and a chair under each of them. There are scissors and a picture instruction under each chair, encouraging visitors to take the following steps. The audience's motion creates the environment for a dance performer to appear and intervenes her dance in their actions. The first performer has prepared dance etudes. The second performer is responsible for interactions with the audience and the choreographic material of the first one The third performer has agency to join the dance when she feels like.
2. Something Happens as solo dance performance in Acud Theater, March 2018
I sell tickets for the performance by myself, engaging the audiences in small talks to “break the iсe”. I handle them 2 envelopes with written score and assignement to open them, when they enter the theatre space. After this job is done, I let them in and leave by themselves for a while.
The next time I enter I start my dance improvisation from the ambience they created there. Each time I try to find individual connection to each of the audiences. Shared presence becomes a starting poing to facilitate a shared action/game. The actions are supported by sound and lights.
Performed by Evgenia Chetvertkova Sound by Wissam Sader, Farah Hazim Lights and technical support by Michiyasu Furutani
3. Something Happens, Budějovický Majáles, Budweis, 2018
The performance was created during 10 days resicence supported by PERFORMANCZE EXCHANGED programme and Kredance collective.
The audience is invited to the traditional theatre space. They take their seats in the house. The lights go down. After couple of minutes of silence they can notice an envelope coming dowun from the ceiling to the stage. Is it a silent invitation? Who will dare to come to the stage to pick it up?
There are several activities and games prepared for the visitors: karaoke, a bucket of whater and a shampoo, a roap, a wig, a microphone, a possibility to take a walk around theatre building during the performance.
The activities are not scheduled, there are no clear invitation and explanations to each of them. There are two performers who have the agency to interwine their actions or “dance” into the actions or motions of the audience. Performers are alowed to slightly fasilitate any prepared activity when they feel the enegy dropped down and nothing happens.
All the activities are supported by real time sound compositions of 2 musitians and a light designer.
Created and performed by Evgenia Chetvertkova, Michiyasu Furutani, Hanna Kritten Tangsoo, Farah Hazim, Wissam Sader.
4. Something Happens as a dinner in theatre space, Acud Theatre, PAF, Berlin, 2018
It was the first time I decided not appear in the theatre space at all, trying to contribute to the audience agency.
There is a performer who sells the tickets in the yard outside of theatre. While selling the tickets she engages small conversations to know the names of visitors. When they enter the space they find a table surved for a dinner on stage. Everyone has a place assined to their names. Guests can choose whether they want to take place at the table or stay in theatre house.
Two charachters wearing metallic suits are lying under the table, turned out to be a sound and a light persons. A performer delivers dishes and invitations to activities: a crossword, a camera, cakes and sweets. At some point she leads the visitors outside from theatre to a photoautomat. Participants are offered photosessions. I wait for them in the booth and talk them through the experience.
Created and performed by Evgenia Chetvertkova, Nicola van Straaten, Michiyasu Furutani, Wisard Ashdod
5. Something Happens as a subversive solo intervention in theatre space, Amalgam SoloFest, Ackerstadt Palast, Berlin, 2018
I presented my actions in between of performances of other 5 performers in a way to produce confusion in performers and the audiences. My task was to “make something happen” so I tried to go against expectations and of theatre practice according following rules: make no difference between the rehearsal and the performance, perform during the break, perform everywhere but not on stage, If you are on stage do actions, which usually count not as a performance and turn them into performative, perform in the place where no one can see you, dont perform when you are observed
6. Something Happens as a lecture performance, MA SODA Research Presentation, Uferstudios, Berlin, 2018
Lecture and performance Evgenia Chetvertkova
Sound design Wizard Ashdod
Lights Michiasu Furutani
Technical support Nikola Pieper