As one of her possible starting points for generating material, Jing Okorn-Kuo suggested old Chinese characters – as imagery to dance/work from; as a starting point for dynamics spatially or between characters. Yesterday evening she and I explored some of the old characters for ‘wealth’, including the one above ‘she’ for extravagance, excess.
Our project, (Playing) the Maids is not a production of Genet’s text. We are using that as a diving off point, identifying themes and issues for possible content. Wealth and the opportunities it brings is one of the differences between Genet’s Maids and the Madame, and something Jing (playing this privileged Madame figure) was keen to explore.
This starting point led overnight to some text I wrote, informed by the meanings and imagery of the old Chinese characters, and several movement sequences that Jing developed. We started playing with these this morning, alongside a bilingual script Phillip Zarrilli, Jeungsook Yoo and Sunhee Kim transcribed, edited, and translated into English from the original improvisation in Korean they had made earlier that day.
We are documenting everything as we proceed in this intense period. I film, photograph and notate each structure, and my colleagues all have their own way of noting their work. This will be essential now in this next part of our process, as we begin reviewing, revising, editing, and rehearsing the many sequences, scenes, and structures we have explored so far.