Thursday, 11 September 2008

Kalamata, Greece – A marvellous night for a moon dance…

Arrive at 9pm, eat, drink, go swimming in my pants, get in a strangers car, and end up at a beach bar called “The Hobo”. If by 2am you can still spell “Hofesh Shechter”, keep drinking.

The next day we rehearsed. Jenny was making her debut in Cult, and we could all do with a laugh and a point. It was worthwhile, especially for those needing to sweat out last night’s deeds. I’m convinced people in Greece stay cool by making their buildings hotter than the sun outside.

The treat of Kalamata was the outdoor performance venue. The castle and its ancient (I assume being Greece) amphitheatre seemed to be the highest point of the city. Sunset and sky line, the company very slowly warming up, Hofesh squinting at lights and plotting a show he wouldn’t actually see until it gets dark. Around 10pm. When the show is supposed to begin.

The stage was built impressively from scratch for the purpose of the festival, although “built” would suggest it was constructed to some sort of building standard. The odd nail sticking out was fine, but Camden Council may have wagged a finger at the upstage wing leading directly onto the edge of a mountain. A 2ft chicken wire fence acting more as a trip wire than a safety barrier. Every protruding bar, stage weight, corner, cable, even tree trunk was cloaked in black material, so as to not look unsightly. Even with the beautiful full moon, sight had nothing to do with getting on or off stage.

The show’s soundtrack was mainly “Clangs!” “Bangs!” and whimpers, with an occasional prayer from Hofesh that the next fade up wouldn’t reveal a broken or impaled dancer. Visually the show was breathtaking, and although it would have been less hazardous to dance whilst on fire, it was the most enjoyable “In Your Rooms” to date.

High point: Many. A 60 sec mid-show applause as Leon stood in front of political chairmen and religious high hats with a sign reading “Don’t Follow Leaders”. I’m sure we lost them as Shechter fans, but the audience were hanging on our every move from that moment on.

Low point: Starting an hour after the scheduled time does nothing for adrenaline levels. The delay mind you, was due to protesters giving a welcome wagon to the very same political chairmen. Rock on! Down with the system (unless of course your giving us funding)

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