“AGAIN: A Celebration of Life”
We entered the performance area with a string given to us to hold on to. The room is dark but it is being illuminated by few spots of light. We seated on the floor covered with a grey carpet with a very comfortable texture that invites the audience to relax and be comfortable. The performers entered to their space then the light went off. The string we were holding just a few seconds ago glowed and the performers made illusions of light that fascinated the audiences.
Through movements and sounds, two performers portrayed a story which can be interpreted in different ways. “Again” for me tells a story about the life of a fetus inside the mother’s womb where he or she explores his or her body by making different movements while undergoing development before coming out. It portrays the connection of the parent and the child and how this relationship create a meaningful life worth celebrating. “Again” also invited me to reflect on how my life went through while I was still in the womb of my mother and I realized how great the responsibility every mother has in carrying a life in their body for nine months.
The choreography of the performance also made an impact in the whole experience. It brought me to certain world a parent and a child is sharing together; a world created just for the two of them to be free and do whatever they want; a world of play where parents sometimes have to dive in so as to fit in to the wants and needs of their child. Also, the images made allow the audience members to imagine, thus making them part of the performance-making and be actively involved in the whole performance. From the title alone, some of the movements presented and words uttered are being repeated and this is very evident to young children wherein when they saw something good, they want to see it again and again. This continuous repetition also builds a better connection and relationship of the child and the parent. While watching the performers, I also observed the audience members wherein the mothers are holding their babies. What amused me is that the reaction of the baby reflects the reaction of the mother and the reaction of the mother reflects the reaction of the baby. Thus, this whole experience reflects the connection of a parent and a child.
In the last part of the performance, the lady performer brought out some balls and gave them some names. For me, this moment made a very important impact in the theatre experience. This is an invitation to the audience members to share a common space the performers are using at the moment. This moment also proved that theatre is a shared community where everyone is welcome to participate no matter how diverse our differences are and no matter what backgrounds we are coming from.
It is also important to note how the performance was ended wherein a red string is being stripped off from the lady performers stomach. This portrays the coming out of the baby where the umbilical cord that connects the mother and the baby was cut. This string symbolizes the important connection that a parent has to his or her child, that their life is connected and they share a lot of things.
“Again” targets young audiences from ages 6 months to 4 years old. With this age range, we always have the thought that what attracts them would be colorful objects and sound. However, “Again” used black and grey and put a risk by using darkness which scared some of the young audiences (one of them even cried). But then, after a total blackout, a live music was played and the performers transformed the mood to a lighter and happier one which stopped the baby from crying. This sudden shift for me wants to tell these young audiences not to be afraid of the dark and that it is safe.