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Dreams From the Second Floor - Every Show a Book of Dreams
Internationally renowned director Firenza Guidi from NoFit State Circus in Wales, is creating a dynamic live circus experience featuring NICA's graduating artists. This site-specific performance opened on November 26 and runs until 6 December at the custom built National Circus Centre in Prahran. Every show that I do is a book of dreams", says Firenza Guidi. "I sell dreams. Most things in life are random. Like the sequence of pictures in a dream."
Dreams are central to your work. Do you remember your dreams?
I remember some of them, quite vividly and I write them down. But the dreams that most inform my work are the ones I have in my waking state. As a creative and a visionary I dream up and often think in images.
What significance do your dreams have on your everyday life?
Every show that I do is a book of dreams. When I start creating a show my head is full of pictures, like a slideshow with music. The way the performance comes together is more like cutting a movie. Frame after frame. Picture after picture. Spectators watch a live movie. Words are pictures too, they fire me up. They're a pillow I sleep on.
I sell dreams. Most things in life are random, like the sequence of pictures in a dream. But above all, I love these dream animals called humans. Raw, raucous, playful, seductive: naughty adults and baby heroes. There is a whole vocabulary of misbehaving in my performance language. That's the first thing performers learn to do. I paint big pictures, not with paint but with people. And I fall in love with them.
How long have you been associated with NICA?
I've known about NICA for a long time. I currently work in NoFit State Circus with NICA graduates Sage Cushman and Adie Delaney. My first visit to NICA was in February/March this year. My show for NoFit State Circus was playing at Perth International Festival. After opening the show there I decided to visit NICA and meet students and staff. I liked it so much that I hoped I would come back to direct a show. I'm happy it has worked out that way
What is your impression of the circus scene in Australia and in particular in Melbourne?
I was fortunate enough to arrive this time early in October during Melbourne International Festival which this year had a focus on circus. It was great to see many shows that I wouldn't have had a chance to see otherwise and take part in debates and forums on circus. The impression I had is that circus in Melbourne is a very passionate, vibrant and ever expanding scene.
How does it compare with the international circus scene?
From what I have seen, it has very distinctive personalities that produce very diverse work. The skill level is of the highest standard and it will be great to see more Australian circus showcased in Europe.
What impact did NICA's participation in the Festival have on its students?
I think that it was a great experience for them and the Nanjing project, which I saw as a spectator, has created an interesting format of collaborative work between NICA, the circus community and the international scene.
What can you tell us about the NICA class of 2014?
I loved working with the students and staff. I have enjoyed every minute of my experience here at NICA and met very many talented people. I will treasure it and help building bridges between NICA and the rest of the world. What more could a director want to dream up worlds than a strong cast of 21 young performers and a creative team of riggers and designers?
What can you promise Melbourne audiences at Dreams from the Second Floor 2014?
The performance is viewed in new, innovative ways from within a distinctive set, featuring originally designed aerial and ground structures. The aerial sculptures transform before the audience creating physically and emotionally affecting environments. These shifts in perspective and gravity question how solid, how fixed, is the world around us?
The pre-recorded and live music will transport the audience through different flights and emotions. Dreams from the Second Floor has original music from the cast, Lee Stout and David Murray, a live band put together especially for the show and A Cappella singing from the performers.
There is a street, busy and ordinary like every other street. But behind it, there is an empty space where everything is possible. The audience are invited to walk through the street of ordinary lives and take a front row seat in the real world to watch the dreams behind the dreamers.