@iContact: Mirror Talk has begun as the final project of Elysia Qiu and Neta Gracewell as part of their Masters in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
From its very beginning in April 2020, this performance making process has been taking place online and remotely, while Elysia is in China and Neta in Israel - due to the global pandemic. Later on Cheng, based in the UK, joined the group, and Neta returned to the UK as well.
Even before knowing what the future holds, Elysia and Neta has decided to interrogate questions of loneliness in modern living, technology-based communication, distance and intimacy.
Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Google Drive, emails and even physical posted letters (!) have all been used as means of communication in the making of this piece.
The online and remote mode of collaboration has percolated into the practice and shaped what audiences have met and will meet.
From the hyper digital to the hyper analogue. Working together, separately.
@iContact: Mirror Talk has been performed as a work-in-progress in Tel Aviv, Israel and Shenzhen, China. The performances received highly positive audience feedback, and Neta and Elysia got a unique opportunity to perform in Hebrew and Chinese and introduce their practice to their local communities.
HighContact Theatre will be back to perform the full version!
Mazeh 9 Tel Aviv
Mirror Talk was performed as an experimental work-in-progress in Tel Aviv at the end of July 2020. Mazeh 9 is Tel Aviv’s community centre for young people, a space that encourages open dialogue, activism, entrepreneurship and art.
Neta was keen to try Mirror Talk's new version in a physical space, curious to see the reactions of the local audience, who showd much interest. Neta has personally interviewed participants after each iteration and used the feedback to improve later performances, as well as further develop the piece with Elysia and Cheng.
“I think this performance is mostly surprising, as it puts you somewhere alone with yourself in a room, so you are your own audience… I would have loved the performance to be even longer, to linger for a moment in this separation from reality… You really moved me!” -- Shani
"I left the performance with a warm feeling inside... I felt like I've been through an intriguing experience with myself and my thoughts about interactions with other people." -- Shir
"Seeing people - really seeing them - is just so valuable. And looking their eyes is something I need to do more." -- Amit
"There was a long moment where I genuinely felt I'm diving into an inner world." -- Stav
Mirror Talk workshops were held in Shenzhen in August 2020. KongLab is an art space where young people gather, and various cross-border art experiments take place. Elysia selected this space specifically for its diverse audience - from art practitioners to students; from office workers to freelancers; from writers to designers... Elysia has carried out ten workshops in total and collected a lot of feedback, which has provided the team with effective information for the work towards a full version in September.
"Creative, real, relaxing. This experience made me start to have some changes in my cognition ... This theatrical experiment made me feel magical. This is my first time attending this kind of experiment. " -- Libbie
"Thank you for creating such a wonderful and powerful experimental theatre piece and I look forward to further exploration and discovery on the topic of "communication" in the future. Looking forward to seeing more of your works in the future!" -- Erho
"Innovative, real, fruitful and interesting. This experiment is like a mirror, it lets me peek into my real self or the diversity of myself under communication, interacting or exchanging with others ... Mirror Talk is the first time that I reflected on myself... I hope this work can go further." -- Everlyn
"This was my first time experiencing this kind of immersive and 1-to-1 activity. I had no idea about the content of this experiment before I attended, but after all I know it’s the creative team's intention. I can feel the effort of the creative team through the entire experiment process. There’s a lot of improvisation instead of following a script ... I hope there will be more people who can experience this kind of activity." -- Husenberg