Two weeks ago, TheatreWorks presented one of its main season programmes, Incarnation of the Beast. Held on 15 to 17 October, we had several ambassadors who came and help us out for Front-of-House (FOH) duties. While helping us out, some of them managed to catch the show and are excited to share their experience. One of our ambassador, Han Chung, shares with us his thoughts and feelings towards the show.
Every tragedy begins with conflict, it’s the start of suffering, torturing and feeling hurt.
A big thank you to TheatreWorks for bringing us the production of Incarnation of The Beast produced by Joavien Ng, who has finally return to the performing scene after 3 years of absence and getting 9 individuals from different social backgrounds to come together to perform this moving piece.
The show begins with a silent atmosphere, with each of the 9 performers posing in different gestures of a perfect sculpture, walking from one corner to the other, like a catwalk show. The atmosphere was very peaceful until the performers started to gather in pairs or groups, where conflicts and violence were involved.
Everyone began with different movement, speed, action and direction. Slowly, the mass form as they roll along the pathway until the grotesque took over, where each of the performers used physical means to push and support each other till their limits.
When it came to the finale, each of the performers repeated their specific actions until the lights were on and door was open. The audience members began to feel awkward among themselves as they were in doubt on whether to leave the venue or not. The performance reached its end when the last of audience left the performing space.
It was a really moving piece that presented all sorts of feelings. I would like to give praise to the performers, who have put in so much effort. It was not easy for the performers to tell their stories through body movements as they do not expertise in this area. Furthermore, they only had two months to come up with this piece.
A moving piece like Incarnation of The Beast which is presented only through the use of body movements without any other visual elements, is certainly challenging for audiences to focus on the physical movements used to reveal emotions from each performer. Personally, I felt the suffering and pain portrayed in the performance. This is especially so when the performance was about to end, where the performers held on to various poses which can be both physically and mentally exhausting for them. For example, they can be seen sweating profusely and look very breathless while performing the piece.
I believe this performance has allowed audiences to further understand about the concept of tragedy which will touch your heart deeply, while feeling the sense of awkwardness when facing such tragedies.