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The Show


Creatives Inspirit: La Mariposa Borracha

A whimsical dance theatre performance

 

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The Show


Creatives Inspirit: La Mariposa Borracha

A whimsical dance theatre performance

 

My body is now beginning to be falling apart, but I will do it to the end

Marina Abramovic

 

La Mariposa Borracha

is a whimsical dance theatre performance designed to explore the journey of personal illness. Inspired by the theme of the exhausted body, the narrative of the performance sought to explore movement in the context of the slowly deteriorating physical body of the dancer. In its conception, the performance is an immersive audience experience guided by the principles of dance theatre and clown. The performance is an episodic journey of Patient X as she escapes from the hospital for one brief hour to do one last spectacular showcase with her troupe. This performance aims to entertain people through a spectacle while causing the audience to introspect about sickness and pain through the lens of humor.
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Context


The Drunk Butterfly

Context


The Drunk Butterfly

"Do we ever stop dancing?"

This was the first question that the project begun with. I wanted to investigate the idea of a deteriorating body in the dance world, inspired primarily by my own experience with illness as well as witnessing other friends’ journeys. Marina Abramovic writes, ‘My body is now beginning to be falling apart but I will do it to the end.’ Having watched many dancers struggle with keeping up their craft while pushing their body to extremities, I wanted to address this particular narrative. Before the conceptualization of this performance, I had worked on a documentary film, ‘Refugi’ that aimed to show that any body type is able to move. The documentary was an impetus to this project as it showed everyone has the potential in them to dance. Jerzy Grotowski writes, ‘We feel that an actor reaches the essence of his vocation whenever he commits an act of sincerity, when he unveils himself, opens and gives himself in an extreme solemn gesture and does not hold back before any obstacle set by custom and behaviors. Hence, taking my experience of the exhausted body and the findings of the research done for ‘Refugi’, it became important to present a sincere narrative, my journey of being sick.
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Plot


Plot

Plot


Plot

Patient X escapes from the hospital for one brief hour in order to do one last spectacular showcase with her performance troupe, 'La Mariposa Borracha'. The show revolves around the episodic journey of Patient X as she explores the different emotional stages that a sick patient goes through: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, littered with the actual spectacular showcase. At the heart of the show, it aims to portray the ups and downs: the dissonance between the sickness and the spectacle of the show. Combining the principles of clown and dance theatre, the show is designed to be a painkiller while wrestling with the theme of the exhausted body. Look forward to ridiculous dancing, bad jokes and one giant party!

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Director's Message


Director's Message

Director's Message


Director's Message

Director of the La Mariposa Borracha - Shanice Nicole Stanislaus 

Director of the La Mariposa Borracha - Shanice Nicole Stanislaus 

La Mariposa Borracha 

translates as the drunk butterfly in English from Spanish. It was a nickname given to me when I was working on a show in Barcelona. Perhaps, the nickname came as a form of endearment but it also embodies the perspective of how my cast mates in Spain saw me as a dancer without inhibitions. 

The project began as an investigation on the theme of the exhausted body. This is a particularly relevant topic to me both as someone who loves to dance while experiencing the impact of sickness taking a toll on my physical body. In the past year, this issue struck me hard after losing dear friends and after watching them struggle with illness both physically and mentally. I then became curious to explore the effect of illness on the body, the relationship almost like a dance-like battle with sickness and the fight to get better through dance. 

Of course, I didn't want this to be a show where we focus on the negative aspects of sickness instead I wanted to present the journey, the ups and downs, the surprises, the dissonance and the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies an illness. Sick people don't need to be reminded that they are sick and hence, I wanted this to be an experience almost like a painkiller. This concept came about when I was in a clown class and was in immense pain but found laughter to relieve or distract some of that pain away. Supported by research showing the effectiveness of humor in pain relief, the art of clown became an important guiding principle for the writing of the show. This show would also not function without humor and a little party because often with suffering, I found it important to embrace the celebratory aspects in life. 

Having travelled around the world to work and train on different dance and theatre projects, I found myself questioning my own creative style and how I would want to watch a performance. In these reflections, I felt that I wanted to challenge the performance viewing process. In my own experience, I didn't want to just be an audience member watching a performance passively, I wanted to be engaged and if an artist could engage me beyond the conventional means of just watching a performance, I was sold on the show. Hence, with this project, I often questioned how I would like my audience to receive the show. The role of the audience became my top priority in making my creative decision, how can I best challenge them, surprise them and give them a show that they might not expect what might come next. 

This project has been one whirlwind of a journey but I am thankful to present a piece of myself through the show. I sincerely hope you are entertained but in the heart of it all, this show is dedicated to those who suffer and who have suffered with all kinds of illnesses: that you may find that you're not alone in your suffering. 

 

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Cast


Cast

Cast


Cast

Ami Firdaus

Ami Firdaus

is a final year Anthropology major at Yale-NUS College. Having performed previously for an experimental theatre piece under the direction of Shanice Stanislaus in 2014, titled (There's nothing here), he is thrilled to work with Shanice once again for one last spectacular showcase.

Bryant Chan

Bryant Chan

is a graduating senior from Yale-NUS College who, contrary to his role in La Mariposa Borracha, is never on time. By the time you're reading this he will hopefully have finished his capstone project, which is slated to be performed about half a week after this performance.

Liew Zhi Hao

Liew Zhi Hao

suspects that he may be deaf as his alarms are never loud enough to wake him up. Much like his character, he's pretty late for rehearsals. Plus, he's not from Yale-NUS College so he gets lost pretty often. When he's not wondering around in circles around Cendana, he can be found cooped up in his room occasionally practising his juggling. Do forgive him, he started his juggling career with pool balls so if he messes up later, it's because.... the balls are too light! Ah-hah!

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Production


Production