Reconnecting to our sense of purpose

AEUB 2017

16/01/2018
CATS 2018 view evening balcony tower
By Txema Perez, Co-founder of 2theatre International Company & London Physical Theatre School

 

When we were invited to perform at Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business at the Caux Forum 2017, we could not imagine what a cathartic experience it would be. To better explain how profound our time at the Caux Forum was, a  bit of background about our company is essential.

2theatre is an award-winning, London-based company that we formed in 2011 after graduating from  the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). We produce multi-faceted shows of physical theatre, clown and puppetry that push boundaries and erase borders. Addressing the common themes of humanity that underlie any cultural difference, we aim to create theatre that touches people all around the world. We also founded the London Physical Theatre School as the pedagogical branch of the company. We organize workshops in different countries to create an international platform that can connect different artistes through a common language.

From the beginning we have managed to survive as a professional business. We kept the theme of humanity in our shows, but discovered that it was easy to lose sight of our origins when all our energy was spent in putting together the next production. We soon realised that in the theatre business humanitarian values are sometimes of no interest either to producers or to audiences. Fortunately, our level of technique and precision, as well as our partnerships with companies such as Cirque du Soleil, helped us get through some lean years

With this background, we arrived at Caux on 16 July. We were immediately struck by the beauty and the history of the Caux Palace. Caux embodies the spirit of post-war reconciliation between Europeans. At the entrance, people from many different countries came through and all were welcomed with open arms and a smile.  I soon discovered that this genuine kindness was vital for starting a dialogue with a stranger.

Our room had stunning views of the lake and the mountains. This overwhelming beauty helped us to connect with our spirituality. The next morning, after enjoying the breakfast buffet, we were ready to start work. We were part of the Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business plenary sessions, and held a workshop for participants regarding our approach. We created short pieces around the theme of each plenary and explored the borderlines between politics, humanitarian issues and art.

Our choice for the workshop was the “Platform” – in the platform approach a group of actors tell an epic story in a contained space. This method is a good way of understanding how to build a dramatic piece combined with storytelling techniques. Work is carried out in an environment without a hierarchy,  so cohesion between  group members is a priority in order to move forward in the creative process.

The participants who attended our workshop, and the other conference activities, were unfailingly light-hearted and generous. This might be a cliché, but it is abnormal to find so many kind and wonderful souls together under the same roof!

We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to re-connect with our purpose, and with the  reasons we became artistes. Caux is an experience that one should  not miss if you are a peace activist, a spiritual person, or simply a caring human being.

 

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Txema Perez and Lana Biba of 2theatre / London Physical Theatre School will offer a full training course in “Mindfulness through playfulness” during Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business 2018 as an approach to building social cohesion in Europe. The course will include platform theatre, mime techniques, character building, and voice exploration.

 

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