This show has taken about 18 months to two years to see happen, from the moment I had the first idea, maybe even longer. The idea came from my interest in science and documentaries; and from the fact that I would like to make a humorous work. I had drifted towards the idea of evolution of life, from single cell organisms to Homo sapiens. And that then gave me the idea – why not try to speculate what might happen in the future? But not in a serious way; we are trying not to be too serious, we are aiming to be humorous.
Humour is important to me because I think it stimulates the mind faster, provokes you, makes you think. And I think that if, every so often you laugh and you smile or maybe something makes you giggle, your mind awakens, you’re more alert. I think it’s easier to access the different emotions of the audience if there is humour.
Also, when we’re making, when we’re creating, it’s usually quite a long process and of course at times it can be hard. So if you have humorous themes to work with, it’s easier to deal with, and it’s more fun too! But the main aim is to make it stimulating and I try to use humour as a tool to stimulate the minds of the people.
I think that’s one of the things which makes people laugh in Homo Irrationalis is because it’s irrational. Because people like to divide things, like to define, create the lines, create borders. While in nature, the borders between countries, for example, don’t exist. When you go to the border of one country and another, it’s just a forest. There’s nothing there. It’s just an imaginary boundary, and I think it’s a little bit like that with definitions in the arts – is it physical theatre, clowning, dance or whatever? I’m not sure it’s that important.
The way I like to work is co-creating the movement with the performers. If you want to make the work feel honest, and make it more inhabited by the performers themselves, it’s good if the performers start to come up with the movements. But there is a sort of devising, putting what scene is at the start, what text goes where, who speaks the text, and of course some of the movements I made. “You move your head this way, you say this that way, you open your mouth” and so on.
It’s often very chaotic, the making process, and often it just emerges from really crazy ideas, or unrelated ideas, and something will emerge. So I get something completely chaotic and some things happen in random times and random places, and in the movements. And then, at some point, something emerged and then we keep it in the show. Also, creating the work, it’s a bit like evolution itself, because we were exploring a lot of different ideas, and more than half of those ideas, some of them were physical, some of them were visual, some were text, but some of them were made extinct, didn’t get selected to make it into the show.
But that is part of the process, an important part, because for me it’s important not to be too attached to the work, otherwise, it can become too serious, I think. And if it becomes less fun, less humorous, it’s sometimes harder to get into the world of the audience.
We were so pleased with the response to Wonders of the Universe in Edinburgh last year at the Fringe. We had a brilliant four star review from Judith Mackrell in The Guardian which was great as it really helped draw in audiences. On the back of all of that, we are happy to be touring Wonders again in spring 2016 in a double-bill that Creu Cymru have put together.
I’m sure I’m generalising when I say that I think modern life provokes people to concentrate less. To become less aware of what is going on around you, and think about stuff less. So with the development of social media, the arrival of TV, with the amount of information we hear, we see around everywhere in the world, we’re slightly neglecting our minds, I think. So we think less and less. So if you want to stimulate your brain, or give it a tickle, just a little bit, then please come and see the show.
Homo Irrationalis on tour in November:
Aberystwyth Arts Centre on Wed 4 Nov
Theatr Harlech on Fri 6 Nov
Riverfront, Newport on Wed 11 Nov (as part of Discover Dance)
Full listings info: http://eepurl.com/bBruoP
Creu Cymru/ Wales Dance Consortium – Wonders of the Universe by Karol Cysewski and Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid by Tentacle Tribe, spring 2016