On Friday 20th I viewed several street performances at the University of Winchester all with a message about life.
I would like to talk about one in particular.
A street performer did a mime performance to music about a women growing up through her stages of life. It started with her making faces at the audience then moved onto crawling then standing. She then proceeded to put on lip stick, a way of showing a coming of maturity (like when a little girl wants to try mommy's lipstick). Next she reached out to the audience, really stretching her arms, this represents her trying to make a connection with anybody then she comes across me.
She kisses the palms of each hand making red circular lipstick marks. She places the backs of her hands against her eye's creating an effect which I found humorous. She reaches out her right hand towards me. At this point I am given a choice as she does not move to grab my right hand. I take her hand and she leads me on stage, I am nervous, not from the fact there are loads of people watch me but the fact that I do not want to ruin the performance.
She whispers to me to stay put, even with a whisper I can her that she has a French accent. She walks to the left of, her back towards me she twists the top half of her body around twice each time making faces at me. She then turns her right cheek towards me and taps it. I go into kiss her on the cheek but she quickly turns her head so I kiss her on the lips. She reached out with her hand, again the choice was mine and I took it. She led me around the stage, at one point turning to the audience to lick her lips, again I chuckled.
We came to a stop at the centre of the stage where she takes a pump out and gives it to me, she whispers to me to use it. As I do a balloon under her shirt inflates. I smile to myself as I think "Yes there is pumping involved in baby making". She tells me to take out the pump and I do, the balloon deflates. This is to represent that the baby did not make it. She pushes me away back to my seat acting distraught. She reaches out to me, really stretching her arms but I just sit there and watch.
I feel anger, sadness and guilt over what just happened even though it's just a balloon. The boundary between audience and actor was broken as no longer was I trying to understand the performance as a silent observer but was a part of it creating the feelings and message. As a scientist all I have ever done is observe and understand the world but now for once I was a part of it.
I am a broken observer.
She then proceeded to do a number of hands stands where she wavered her body. My friend thought this to be a representation of her breadth slowly leaving her body as the grief of losing a child was too much to take.
Pictures of performance: