ARTICLES, English

Labyrinth Theater

By the way ! I didn’t tell you ! I experimented a pretty cool stuff the other day.

It started like this … My friend Lucie, from France, proposed me and to the other buddies: “do you fancy a labyrinth theatre?” “Totally! But what is it?” “It’s experimental theatre. Basically, you are part of the play. It’s as if you were playing a role with more confirmed actors, without noticing. My mentor Liene organizes this, with her friend Ruta”. “Wow, I didn’t understand anything about your pitch, but it sounds cool so I am in!” “Check on the internet, it’s becoming more and more popular across the world.” Well, of course I didn’t check it and bim here I am, in a bus with my European friends going to Jaunpils, a small town in the Latvian countryside.

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Once there … “Wow, this castle is really nice!” “Yes! And this is where we gonna sleep tonight” … “Awesome!”

After a delicious meal at the castle inn and a good sleeping night, here is the day after. “When you want to leave the bedroom, call us. You will have to wear a scarf and hide your eyes so that you won’t see transformations we made this early morning in the castle, for the event” “okay. Well I’d like to have a breakfast and then try this labyrinth theatre”. “Then we arrive!”….

A charming young Latvian woman speaks to me in English: “Are you ready?” “Yep” “So let’s start!” Then she takes a scarf and hides my eyes with it so that I can’t see anything. “Take this stone with you. Grip it strongly in your hand. It’s your own power which will help you to endure this 40 min adventure. In hard moments, you will need it. We gonna make you travel all over the world but you won’t see anything. We gonna start by a small village in Himalaya.” Thus began my sensory trip. It’s crazy. Without our eyes, we are much more focused on sounds, voices, smells, textures. I was walking in the middle of a market, shopkeepers (that is to say volunteers actors) proposing me different products coming from far away. At the end of this first stage, I was already really into the process. I had just listened Buddhist music, smelled these very Oriental odours and walked in extremely sloping stairs with the help of Ruta’s sweet voice and hand.

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No time to rest or think. I go now to USA to meet the Native Americans. Here they propose me to play music with them. But I can’t play drums! Nevermind, I let myself go. I wanna enjoy. The Indians leave me. One guides me for my return to the “civilization”. Times Square, New York. Horrible. All these people jostling me, all these horns, all this rush. I want to leave! I am freaking out, clinging to my stone. Fortunately, my new guide proposes me to go to a calm forest. There, thanks to noises, I understand that I am in a tropical forest. The water, the peaceful atmosphere relaxes me. But soon, I am in the middle of a conflict between Amazon Indians and capitalists who want to destroy their forest, their environment. Not easy.

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Well, I pass on certain details or other great moments because I feel that I am loosing you, dear readers. Here is the end of this unique experience. The volunteers actors take off my scarf, and they show me everything I have been crossing. It was nothing! I only did few meters, whereas I had this impression of doing several hundreds! I thought I was travelling all over the world but in fact, I remained in a small part of the castle. Wow it’s really amazing. And especially because I have some difficulties in going back to reality. Just look at my face just after doing this. I think it is quite obvious. 5 minutes are needed to “come back”.

To conclude, if you have the chance to have a labyrinth theatre near your place, do it! You may have understood the concept, but each labyrinth theatre is different 😉

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Thomas S.

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