Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Helping to Suspend Dinner.

Last week I had the chance to help in the process of creating a unique theatrical experience that was curated by Sarah Winter. Dinner With Gravity ran for just under two hours on Saturday evening for 12 guests at The Studio, at QUT. Just thought I'd reflect on how cool it was and how much fun it was to be a part of the process, and if the work does resurface somewhere, I'd really encourage you to go.

Ironically, tying knots was really important and I can't do them properly - watch me tie my shoes oneday and you'll probably step back and say "Oh my . . .  what did you just do?". I don't know how I'd gotten through life so far without needing to tie knots, but the truth came out and I was exposed for the sham I am. The week consisted of rigging up lights, fire retarding (tee hee) materials, carrying heavy booms and equipment, and a lot of moving stuff. The best thing about the whole process is that in the bump-out I used a lot of the skills I'd picked up from my Cert III, so it was pretty gratifying to see that I could still use and apply those skills. I felt the most out of place since I was the youngest and at times I didn't really know what the fuck I was doing, but it was a great learning process. We all worked really hard - I knew that Kat was exhausted and beyond the point of return when she asked me to tie a balloon to a pole then fell over in a heap while laughing when she realised I couldn't tie knots.

I adored the end result. We had a few seconds to take it in after the mad end rush before the session began. The room had the charm of something out of a fairytale. The focal point was the center of the room was over a hundred white and black balloons floating above the the seating area, three tables of different size and make were in the center of the room on top of some (hideous) plush rugs, and the surrounding floor was covered by large crunchy leaves. The tables (in addition to the air around) were covered with gourmet food including floating strawberries and cream, rice-paper rolls, mini quiches and other canap├ęs with creme fraiche and these badass cupcakes from The Cupcake Parlor (I think it's around West End). Suspended above the table was a hand tied twine net and hanging from it was a white sheet canopy that had more leaves threaded throughout which gave it this empyreal wood-nymphesque vibe.

There was wine, coffee, and different varieties of teabags hanging off balloons - that's probably one of the most ingenious parts of the show. You pour yourself a cup of boiling water, then as you place the cup below the teabag, the moisture in the teabag pulls the balloon down (. . . that's what she said . . .). There are so many little things like that in the show, and I wish everyone will get to see it someday. I felt a little aloof at the end of the night due to a few things, but the main factor was the sad realisation that, like last time, it had to end. Especially considering the amount of effort that was put into the week long preparation, it's sad that something so beautiful can only be enjoyed so briefly! At the start of the week I'd said that I was so glad that the process was continuing, and I think it's got such grand potential. Inside the room it honestly made me think like there was no other world outside and I don't think I've ever enjoyed helping out so much.

We blitzed through the bump-out, sort of. The ratio of 4 hours to bump-out in comparison to around 5 days of set up seemed blitzy to me. I felt a little disappointed that I'd been involved with the process from the beginning and I was going to miss the end of it because it takes around 2 hours to get home and that meant I'd have to leave at the end. Sarah came to the rescue and rectified that, and I got to stay around to help finish. One of my fondest memories from uni so far was the crew sitting around in a circle exhausted, but chatting about random bullshit and eating the left-over gourmet cupcakes.

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