Choreographer, dancer Petras Lisauskas: you need to know the rules to know what to break - LRT

2022-07-24 13:52:37 By : Ms. vivian huang

Dancer, choreographer, actor Petras Lisauskas, in his recent show - a performance, which took place in the documentary mystery "Epo kismas: The Mystery of the Spruce Crown", was impressed when the men invited from the hall, seemingly without much discomfort, threw off their social masks and joined the game.Of course, this was also Peter's merit - before the performance, he specially prepared, meditated, and familiarized himself with the space.We talk with the artist about his usual rituals, masculinity and intuition in creation.- It is amazing to watch how you prepare on the day of the performance, before going on stage - how you warm up not only physically, but also, it seems, spiritually.I saw you both meditating and holding your hands over the fire torch.Why is such ritualistic, careful preparation for the scene important to you?- On the day of the performance, it is very important for me to maintain concentration, not to scatter before going on stage, to understand its space.I really like to come to the venue and stay there, sit down, look at all the corners, fill that space with myself.I like those performances in which I can act from the very beginning - as if then the audience comes to me in the space, instead of me jumping into them.Another ritual was born completely unplanned: it was the day of the first-year composition exam and before it the stage had to be washed.So I ended up washing her alone and in doing so I realized the power of this act.Since then, even on bigger stages, I don't hesitate to come and ask the cleaner to let me clean the stage - it's become a little ritual for me.You clear that space both directly and symbolically, you make it your own, you put yourself in it.I don't necessarily follow those rituals sacredly, but at least coming to stand in the middle of the space where the performance will take place, looking around, is important and really grounding for me.Of course, there are also such events for which you do not prepare, which are very difficult to control.For example, at the beginning of this year, during the tour in Denmark, 45 minutes before the performance, my one-year-old child fell from the table - I had to call an ambulance and take him to the hospital.My colleagues were surprised, but I decided not to cancel the performance, even though I was standing backstage and my attention was completely elsewhere.Such things also happen in the life of an artist.- One of your recent performances is a performance in the documentary mystery "Epo kismas: Eglė karūnos misterija" with the music of Saulius Petreikis, where you invited all the men in the hall to stand in a circle and wordlessly involved them in various actions.You chose a stick that represented both a weapon and a baby during that performance... Did you expect men to be so immediately involved in this event?- I have to admit that I did not expect it.I didn't have much hope that Lithuanian men would "sign up" for such an event, that we would all immerse ourselves in such a flow...I was preparing for this show by watching a lot of videos of various tribal dances, I thought of including sticks to add an extra element.I like to use a stick - I also use it to warm up.In addition, she is a powerful metaphorical symbol, which really turned into both a weapon and a child during the performance.Stopping in a circle is also a powerful archaic symbol that affects all people - it is enough to stop in it.My hobby as an artist is improvisation: I don't like strictly fixed choreographic compositions and movements.Before this show, I had decided that if the men didn't "sign on" for a joint act, I would do more solo work.But it was not necessary.One of the strongest moments was when I walked in a circle and looked each man in the eye.I felt that I was not only watching, but also seeing them, and that they were seeing me.Everything happened without words, here and now.Even without words, one can notice the difference in personalities - some men had more hardness, others were softer, more careful.As we all took turns picking sticks, one man didn't wait his turn and grabbed what was probably the thickest stick, otherwise he would have only had the thinnest ones left when it was his turn.It was very interesting to watch such different characters and how they expressed themselves.- Peter, what is masculinity for you?- I believe that you can admire and fall in love with personalities regardless of the body they walk in.When I say "fall in love" I don't mean in a sexual sense, not in a physical sense.There are definitely male colleagues whom I sincerely admire, but maybe sometimes we Lithuanians don't always know how to express it.I am forty, I have three children, I am married for the second time, but I still question what kind of man I am - as a son, as a citizen of Lithuania, etc.Now, being in my village, I work, it seems like a man's work, but is it less manly to allow myself to cry while watching a movie or a play?It does not diminish my masculinity.I talk and think that I really don't know what masculinity or femininity is.There is both masculinity and femininity in each of us and that is neither good nor bad.It's bad or good when we don't know how to feel it, understand it, talk to it.Many of our roles are just social masks: it seems that we have to behave accordingly, for example, a company manager or a driver.How much does that role limit his life?I think in that circle of men those social masks didn't matter anymore - we just played.And the game is not about clear rules and canons - the real game is born when the rules are created here and now.- And how do you think intuition is formed and strengthened?How does it mean to you as an artist?Is it more of a natural talent or a tool of great work?- Talent without work can remain simply talent and not turn into results.Blessed are those who, having talent, still work with it.I don't believe that without academic knowledge and constant practice, great effort, you can improvise.I like to say that you have to learn the rules just to know what to break and what to change.Improvising with an unprepared body, an uncharged personality, can be simply empty, even in an anarchic sense.Anarchy, by the way, also has a strong philosophy.If I haven't read books, watched movies, accumulated experience and life, I won't broadcast anything.When improvising, I often come up with various images and associations, which, I believe, are transmitted to the audience as well.He will not necessarily see the same image.However, if I make sense of that association within myself, have that so-called inner focus, inner image, it will still somehow broadcast and be seen.I understand that I myself don't want to see only technique on stage, without personality - it's just not interesting to me.- The fact that you became a dancer was already breaking certain rules, right?Yes, I was nowhere near a dancer until my early twenties.When I got into acting with a modern dance twist, my body just screamed for the first year, I wasn't ready for that.But at some point, that "click" happened and I realized that I can turn my minuses into pluses: a big 100 kg body can also move.I have to admit that after being on stage for so many years, I only recently started enjoying the way I look and the way I move.I remember when I was studying, I always said that I was studying acting, because it was very difficult to explain what modern dance is and what a 184 cm 100 kg man does in it.But this is a matter of audience education.About ten years ago, everyone imagined that a dancer must be lithe, nimble, nimble, etc.Now that is changing.In my course, I also had dancers who did not look standard, but their presence on stage, their personalities were so amazing that when looking at them, the technique goes into the background.- What topics are currently on your creative table?- There is a lot on the table.One of the topics is religion and faith.I have identified myself as a believer, but I am not religious.I question religious structures very strongly.I am currently engrossed in the work of the monk Thomas Merton.He has written about fifty books and has been named by Pope Francis as one of the most influential religious thinkers.Along with faith, the topic of trust is also very interesting to me.The context of the war also comes into play here: how much do I trust the state, Europe, and finally, my neighbor.This is a more personal topic, it has not reached the stage of the theater yet.For about ten years, I've been participating in the Danish Physical Theater Company's movement play, Balancing Man, where the performance takes place on a giant balance platform.I would very much like to bring her to Lithuania and keep her here longer, and with her help to examine the issue of trust.How much would you trust me if I invited you to this platform that I have been moving on for about ten years?Well, of course, my seasonal role is Santa Claus.The demand and supply of Santas is huge right now.I have set certain value goals for myself and told myself that I don't want Santa Claus to be a courier who delivers gifts.I have to say that in the eleven years that I've been playing it, I've given both non-permanent, low-quality gifts and junk... Sometimes it's just discouraging to load up a bag full of worthless gifts and know that they'll either quickly break and be thrown away, or just dust on the shelf.I really want to educate not only children, but also parents.I know how much we run, we do a lot, and that often those gifts are compensatory - we try to make up for the time we don't spend together.Nevertheless, I have a desire to create a creative workshop where two obsolete toys can be turned into one.Or simply pass the toy you haven't played with for a long time to someone else.I'm not just talking about underprivileged children.I want to emphasize that it is no trouble if you do it.I still really want to implement the idea that Santa Claus could spend more time not on spectacular programs or handing out gifts, but, let's say, on a question-and-answer session with children, just talking.And that it would be a gift.