Human Locomotion in Prague

Muybridge and his work as a stage experience isn’t new, as we’ve seen in previous posts. But an entirely new take on the subject is now running in Prague, Czech Republic, at the National Theatre. Jesse Seaver at Huffington Post provides a review:

Human Locomotion Theatre in Prague: The Story of Eadweard Muybridge

The Huffington Post
by Jesse Seaver

2014-02-10-HumanLocomotion-thumb

Photo Courtesy Národní divadlo

The New Stage of the National Theatre in Prague is small, but once the show begins, surprisingly capable of providing it’s guests with a truly entertaining evening. The seats are a bit worn, but comfortable, and the building itself inspires architectural awe with its winding staircases, and glass walled multi leveled cafes. I am here tonight to see Human Locomotion, the latest multimedia production of Laterna Magika at the Narodni Divadlo. This iconic National Theatre house is near the city center, sits on the edge of the Vltava river and is a must for the lovers of the arts who visit this culturally rich city.

Led by directors Martin Kukucka and Lukas Trisovsky (SKUTR), the show brings more to the table than let on from the promotional flyers and website descriptions. The set, the lights, the music, the dancing and the acting were all well worth the four curtain calls worth of applause the cast received at shows end.

A beautiful, and humorous rendition of “You Are My Sunshine,” begins the melodic journey from Petr Kaleb that transports the audience, smoothly, through the use of an elaborate set and projection by Jakub Kopecký, with help on costumes from Jana Morávková. The storyline is well written, performed in a mix of Czech and English, but always with English subtitles projected. The show tells the story of Eadweard Muybridge (Marek Daniel), the British inventor who had a critical impact on the world of photography and beyond. His most famous work captures a horse running using multiple cameras, and represented the invention of Chronophotography.

This troubled man, and genius, dedicated his life with obsession to his invention, but not at little cost. As he is tormented through his genius, he consequently destroyed his personal life and marriage to his beautiful wife Flora (Zuzana Stavna). She was pushed away into an affair with Major Harry Larkyns (Jakub Gottwald), a dashing, purple tuxedo-wearing troublemaker slash magician. Eadweard eventually shoots the Major, and is tried for murder, but is let off on grounds of justifiable homicide and allowed to complete his work.

What appears at first view to be a static backdrop is transformed into a multi-story, multi-level deep set, complete with animations skillfully painted across the stage using multiple HDX projectors. The entire set is designed to be inside of a camera, so to speak, I presume so that the audience is always peering into the life and view of Eadweard. Flora and Major Henry share an amazingly well done love scene, from inside a box, again meant to be a camera, while the audience is shown the actors passion through magical projection onto a dancer positioned on a five sided screen. The bending, waving light, along with the perfectly selected soundtrack, and Eadweards’ character slumped at the far other end of the stage, made this the most powerful scene for me. An elevated, slow motion fight scene, was also extremely well done. Many examples of choreographer Jan Kodets’ masterful ability to tell a story with her dancers combined itself well with the score, which was full of emotion, and the perfect amount of space to allow the actors to intersect and participate. All in all, the production of this show was a real treat, and a great Saturday evening out in Prague.

If you are a lover of modern dance and multimedia theater you should add this show to your list to try and catch. It will show again in Prague in March and April, and if the rest of the world is lucky, it will go on tour.

Jesse Seaver

re-posted here by Stephen Herbert. More here:
http://www.novascena.cz/en/repertoar/1079.html
Trailer from YouTube, below.

Credits:

Stage – Directors: Skutr (Martin Kukučka, Lukáš Trpišovský)
Choreography: Jan Kodet
Stage-design: Jakub Kopecký
Music: Petr Kaláb
Projections, programming: Jakub Kopecký, Lunchmeat

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The T-Shirt Issue: Muybridge on show

The T-Shirt Issue ‘Muybridge Part Two’ at MAD, NYC

by Maude Churchill
'Muybridge Part Two'

‘Muybridge Part Two’

Art collective THE T-SHIRT ISSUE were born out of a frustration with the current approach to clothing design and their result is an innovative digital approach to apparel construction that uses a 3D construction technique to give them the freedom to create garments that begin with a concept. Their latest installation, Muybridge Part Two, is currently on show at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC. The exhibition is a study on temporal change in 3D: a bird in full flight is rigged, animated, and transported into T-shirts, and is inspired by Edward Muybridge’s photography from the late 1800′s which pioneered the capture of animal and human locomotion. Exhibitors alongside THE T-SHIRT ISSUE include Zaha Hadid, Frank Stella, Anish Kapoor and many more. The show continues until June 1.Museum of Arts and Design
The Jerome and Simona Chazen Building
2 Columbus Circle, New York City

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2014/01/28/the-t-shirt-issue-muybridge-pt-2/

Re-posted here by Stephen Herbert

Rumpus in Kingston

Nude beginnings: Riverside Kingston development to pay tribute to Kingston photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge

5:00am Friday 24th January 2014 in News By Ross Logan, Chief Reporter [YourLocalGuardian.co.uk]

Images taken by Eadweard Muybridge could soon be a familiar site along Kingston riverside.

riverside

The Riverside Kingston development this week. Muybridge’s images will be seen on the large white panel to the right of the picture

Artistic images of women posing nude for legendary photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge could soon become a familiar sight along Kingston’s riverside.

The company behind the new Riverside Kingston restaurant development, next to Kingston Bridge, has announced bold plans to commemorate one of the town’s most famous sons by emblazoning its building with stills from his Human Figures in Motion project, carried out in the mid 1880s.

The oversized black and white photographs would greet visitors coming into town from Richmond over Kingston Bridge, as well as those travelling along the Thames.

phonehttp://www.kingstontour.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/photographs/phone-boxes.html

Developers Canadian and Portland Estates hope that in time, the projection will become as recognisable a landmark as David Mach’s Out Of Order phone box sculpture in Old London Road.

Kingston-born Eadweard Muybridge broke new ground in photography

Greg Miles, head of promotions and animation at Canadian and Portland Estates, said: “Eadweard Muybridge was born and died in Kingston and became a pioneer of photography and the moving image.

“His work is internationally recognised and contributed hugely towards the development of film, which has a vast influence over our lives.

“Kingston owns one of the world’s largest collections of Muybridge’s images and we believe this is something Kingston should celebrate and we wanted to honour the beauty and importance of his work on our building.”

Phase one of Riverside Kingston is due to open in April, bringing five popular restaurant chains to the town for the first time – Cote, Busaba Eathai, CAU, Comptoir Libanais and Bill’s.

Muybridge is credited with revolutionising still photography through his famous motion sequence technique, which paved the way for motion pictures.

Despite the cultural nod to Kingston’s heritage, Kingston Society chairman Jennifer Butterworth was not impressed by the proposal to beam his work across the Thames.

She said: “What is being proposed will only make bad worse.

“It doesn’t matter if the ladies are nude or not.

“We objected to the Riverside sign [on top of the building] and we object to anything more making this site look like a cinema show.”

[end of article]

** So, several years after a major retrospective of Muybridge’s images graced the walls of the Tate Britain art gallery, his photographs are still objected to on the grounds that they represent a “cinema show”. Not only are we still fighting the prejudices against film as art, we’re back to the 1970s struggle to have photography recognized as art. It might not be appropriate to have these pictures on the site suggested, but the objectors will need to come up with some better reasons for rejecting the internationally renowned work of Kingston’s famous son.

Stephen Herbert

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10959924.Nude_beginnings__Riverside_Kingston_development_to_pay_tribute_to_Kingston_
photography_pioneer_Eadweard_Muybridge/