Monday, August 29, 2011

Interview with Ea Sola

Vietnamese artist Ea Sola creates performance pieces featuring women farmers, aged 50-75. Alfred Hickling talks to her about her ever-evolving work, Drought and Rain
In a sweltering hot theatre in the centre of Naples, a group of Vietnamese peasant women stand on stage. They are not professional performers, but farmers aged between 50 and 75 who have never previously left their villages, let alone been transplanted to the garbage-strewn streets of Italy's most chaotic city. Gradually they begin to sway, as if the wind were stirring a rice field. Though their movements are simple, they have a stealthy, ritualistic quality that occasionally becomes quite surreal. When they bow their heads, the gently nodding crowns of conical straw hats resembles a strain of alien fungi.
It is not easy to say what this enigmatic performance is intended to be – it's difficult to call it drama because nobody speaks. It's hard to characterise it as dance, since the performers barely move.
The piece, called Drought and Rain, is the creation of the Vietnamese-French director, choreographer and performance artist Ea Sola.

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