My University in Leicester, UK, is hosting a one-week event called Cultural Exchanges (10th anniversary). There are workshops, readings and performances of renowned artists and celebrities. Something I wouldn’t want to miss.

It started off with the reviewer’s perspective of Guardian theatrical reviewer Michael Billington. Very inspiring. He can use the word “hell” in non-blasphemous ways; his choice of words is immaculate.

Today, a dance performance. (see video below)
Not exactly, it was Gabi Reuter’s ‘performing arts’ performance with three partners. Such an honour to see the world premier of “Tourist”. Especially since she works internationally, currently in Nottingham and Berlin (my hometown again, we’re everywhere).
Her show, presented by the international dance centre Dance4, is an abstract tourist experience with alien languages, slow motion and cunning themes. I overheard a visitor saying, “It’s abstract, so don’t put any meaning into it.” Some younger performing arts students didn’t quite get that and thus were disappointed, saying reluctantly, “I didn’t understand it.” Personally, I thought it was a truly artistic view on a tourist feeling misplaced.

Others were also fond of the interpretation. The start was strange and dreary with its total sound eradication whereby it was easier to focus on someone’s stomach growling (not mine). Quickly it became clear that the introduction was necessary to get the feeling for the abstract world, otherwise the alien language with only a slight resonance similar to English would have felt out of place. After the comical insertion of props such as a sky-diver’s outfit, a ranger’s costume and the recurring sliding-into-the-scene alpinist, the presentation became more interactive; then finally with the play on voices, sounds and indiscernible objects it turned into entertainment.
The characters made fun of each other, used echoes as special effects and made the empty stage into a full visual movie via their reactions. The end scene ended with a story in English, describing the imaginary way through a black wall in the background and travelling with the key word “behind” back to Nottingham. Very powerful for residents of the area. My favourite twist was the underlying criticism about English semi-detached houses of one of the foreign performers: “You know, these things you have here in England.”

The rest of the week will include events such as creative writing presentations, a romantic-comedy conference and what I anticipate the most, a 60x60 concert, meaning that 60 composers from around the world each play for 60 seconds either electro acoustic or sonic art music.

Find more on Cultural Exchanges on:


  1. DEZMOND said...
    sounds interesting and eventful! And love the idea of world united in a show.
    Lynda R Young said...
    sounds fantastic and so creative
    Ellie said...
    Ooo...I would loved to have to gone. Thanks for sharing!
    Arlee Bird said...
    Only in a university environment-- this stuff would never make it in the commercial arena of entertainment/art. I used to attend things like these all the time when I was in college. It reminds me of a story that I may have to someday tell on my blog.

    Tossing It Out
    Nahno McLein said...
    Arlee, thank you for commenting.
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but actually this is not a University group. They were invited for their nationally acclaimed performances and they have many shows around the area.

    I guess it is very different in England, where there is much funding for arts like that.
    I would love to hear your story or read it someday.

    DEZMOND, Lynda and Ellie, thank you for your comments.
    Talli Roland said...
    That sounds fantastic, Nahno. I'm jealous!
    Donna Hole said...
    How exciting. A lot of stuff packed in that week.

    Melissa Bradley said...
    Wow what a fantastic experience. I would so love to have been there. Thank you for sharing this.

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home