Mosaic Lizard Theater will incorporate a variety of movement disciplines into its upcoming production of The Tempest, directed by MLT Associate Director, Greg Langner. The Tempest will run August 8 – 17, and features a cast that includes Zack Guzman as Prospero, Lauren Estrada as Miranda, Lisa Lozano as Ariel, Josh Puga as Caliban, and Dominic Durran as Ferdinand, with Jessica Bernal (Alsonso), Mignon DeLarre (Antonio), Rachellynn Walker (Stephano), Bianca Gregory (Trinculo), Toby Guebert (Gonzalo), Jonathan Hull (Sebastian), and Summer Stratton (Boatswain).
In discussing the concept Langner says, “As a director, part of my background is in Postmodern Dance, Japanese Butoh, and East Asian arts/methods so a big part of the aesthetic of this piece will be the integration of text and subtext with these kinds of choreographed expressions.
Langner’s Hapkido training includes Dan Jun and other Korean martial arts that he has practiced for more than a decade. “The head of my lineage here in the U.S., Chang Byung Chul, recently passed away a couple of months ago. He is an original student of the Chang Moo Kwan school in Korea, and trained directly under Ji Han Jae.”
How does he plan to integrate the movement into The Tempest? “Japanese Butoh, unlike most forms of dance, is not codified or restricted to a specific set, series, or pattern of movement,” he says. “It is derived, historically, from a place of devastation, and as such, its physical expressions can often be very dark and grotesque, which informs its cathartic effect toward an audience. While this production is not oriented toward expressions that would purposely repel or disturb an audience, there are resonating themes throughout The Tempest that convey psychological struggle, which, through expressions of raw and unfamiliar (as opposed to grotesque) movement and posture, can help define the subtext throughout the piece.
Hapkido, which is an energy, flow-oriented style of martial arts, creates clean transitions by allowing for fluidity between choreographed movements and those that are expressed naturally. Dan Jun is a style of fluid breathing techniques that will allow text and movement to be equally expressive, while at the same time informing the changing rhythm of the piece.
Visually, the production will take a minimalist approach in order to focus attention on the performances, so costumes will not be Elizabethan, nor will they be explicitly modern. Sound and music will also empower the performance without overwhelming or distracting from it. However, at times, there will be purposeful contrast between the style of music/sound and the expressions, both in text and movement. This kind of purposeful contrast is practiced as a means of retaining audience focus.”
Langner adds that while a great deal of the movement will be choreographed, it is not intended to dominate the performance to the extent that it detracts from the story. “Much of the choreography is created by adapting natural and familiar movements as a way of clarifying the evolving messages of the play.”
August 8-17, 2014
The Mosaic Lizard Theater
112 W. Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
Reservations: (626) 202-2859