Bistoury Physical Theatre has been busy this year. Following last year’s performance, Asesinos por una Noche, the company has continued to expand their multidisciplinary ambitions. Earlier this year, Bistoury launched a four-phase project called Imaginarium Art+Fabrik, spanning from the written word, to film, theater and dance. As 2012 closes, the second phase, Imaginarium Life, hits the stage at Miami Theater Center (formerly the PlayGround Theater), as part of MTC’s SandBox series. Performances begin December 6. We spoke with one of the company directors, Alexey Taran, about the project.
Tell us about Imaginarium Art+Fabrik.
The first phase has already been completed. It was a short film based on a screenplay by Carla Forte, directed by Carla Forte and produced by Bistoury. It was selected for the short film category at Cannes Film Festival. We shot it in one day with a small crew and zero budget. The second phase is a dance-theater-film version of the screenplay called Imaginarium Life. We will have two live characters interacting with the film. The third phase is the official film, Imagimundo, which we are planning to show next year in April or May. And the last phase is the publishing of the book that initiated this project: Exorcismo de l’Ego [Exorcism of the Ego] by Vicente Forte.
What is the story of Imaginarium Life?
We narrate the story of Ruben, the main character, and Ana, his wife. Ruben decides to reject the material world and escape from reality. He tries to create a very simple life, only in his mind. So it’s a drama. It’s very complicated, because we have two realities. One is on stage — the performance — and this is the imaginarium of the mind. And on the screen we have real life.
What aspect of reality is Ruben trying to escape?
We will always have some structure of power in our lives, from kids to material things. We need to live in a society that has some kind of rules and structures. For example, you always have to take care of yourself. When you go outside, you need to wear certain kinds of clothes. If you go to a meeting, you need to be dressed formally. These kinds of structures are very simple, but they have power in them.
Ruben is tired of this social structure so he decides to try to get away from it.
How does the space of the imagination contrast with the material world?
I think that you and I and everybody has an imaginarium, the imagination, to escape reality. And it’s beautiful if you want it to be. But at some point you will have your demons or your problems there. They will come back to you. For Ruben, his wife is an angel at the beginning. But later, the angel turns against him. A Portuguese writer Fernando Pesoa wrote about wanting to be free. He wanted to leave society and go to live in the mountains alone. But he realized that when he is in the mountains alone, he carries his own baggage of demons. So you will have your demons in your imagination or in your real life.
You recently held a feedback forum on Imaginarium Life at local dance space Inkub8. How was that?
It was very interesting for us because each mind has a different point of view. Each person gave us feedback and it was amazing. It became a part of the creation of the piece. I think that the feedback helped us understand the way the public views what we were doing. And I think that we agreed with them. It didn’t change the direction that we were going, but always we need to know what people see. Because sometimes we are very immersed in ourselves and in the piece.
Imaginarium runs through Dec. 22, at 8:00 p.m., at the Miami Theater Center, 9806 N.E. 2nd. Ave., Miami Shores. Tickets are $20 and group rates are available. Call 305-751-9550 or visit www.mtcmiami.org to purchase tickets.
This article first appeared in Miami New Times.