THEATER: “They Are Waiting for You” @ EMPAC at RPI on Friday
French artist Laure Prouvost has earned Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize and world-wide acclaim for her work in mixed media installations and immersive films, but now she turning her talents toward something new.
On Friday (February 16), EMPAC at RPI in Troy is presenting the New York premiere of They Are Waiting for You, Prouvost’s first major work commissioned for the stage. Developed at EMPAC over the past year in collaboration with London-based artist-filmmaker Sam Belinfante and French/Belgian choreographer Pierre Droulers, They Are Waiting for You is a surreal, humorous and perceptually disorienting theatrical production in which stage technologies — light, haze, projections — interact with performers, musicians and the audience.
Confounding linear narrative and a fixed relationship to words, the performance uses a wide range of everyday items — among them logs, some oranges, a large fish and a helium balloon — to investigate language itself, its origins and its distance from the world. Words, bodies and images gain and lose meaning throughout the performance as language breaks down, and, in the piece’s stunning conclusion, that loss of language reveals a new space for ineffable beauty.
Co-commissioned by EMPAC and the Walker Art Center, They Are Waiting For You will be performed in collaboration with percussionist Eli Keszler and the Artemis Ensemble (featuring Tara Loeper, Lizz Windnagel, Alia Jeraj and Bethany Battafarano).