Inspired by the avant garde music-as-performance work of Argentine-German composer Mauricio Kagel, our presentation of this exciting new Free Theatre project entertained and surprised.
Influenced by John Cage and the Dada cabarets, Kagel created and developed a new music-theatre genre, where music-making itself becomes theatre as a comic, absurd and above all joyously playful activity
The Mauricio Kagel Project brought together International composer Gao Ping, renowned New Zealand conductor Hamish McKeich - whom Free Theatre collaborated with on Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, a CSO production for the 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival - and Christchurch artists of experimental performance.
Directed by Peter Falkenberg, the work-in-development was presented in September at Free Theatre’s home in The Arts Centre -- The Gym -- as part of the company's innovative New Works Programme, which was launched in 2014 with the critically acclaimed Kafka's Amerika.
The development of this project was made possible by the generous support of Creative New Zealand, the Asia NZ Foundation and the Christchurch Arts Festival. Filmmaker Shirley Horrocks is documenting the project and we are making plans to present a full production of the work.
Images and video from the work-in-progress below. Details on the development of the project can be found on our Blog.
I witnessed the results of the Kagel project, and was impressed by the dedication and skill exhibited by all of the participants. True collaboration of any sort is not an easy task. Successful cross-cultural mixing is exponentially more difficult. But I feel that the skill and commitment of Gao Ping and those involved with the Free Theatre, provide a unique opportunity to move forward into new and invigorating creative territory.
"Commitment, skill and creative high jinks"
Lin Clark, Theatreview, 11 September 2015
"Blurring musical boundaries"
Dione Joseph, The Big Idea, 9 September 2015
"Free Theatre pushing boundaries"
Scoop, Thursday 13 August 2015
Eva Radich, Upbeat, RNZ
2:24 pm on 7 September 2015 Interview with Hamish McKeich and Gao Ping