Elsewhere (Valerio Peroni – Alice Occhiali)
The strategy that emerged as a winner from the meeting between CarraroLAB and Nordisk
Teaterlaboratorium is virtual reality. Indeed, there are plans to use virtual reality (VR) viewers during a
new show designed by Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni, titled “Elsewhere.”
CarraroLAB decided to approach the avant-garde use of virtual reality viewers in theater by first looking at the issues involved.
The use of VR glasses can be distracting for some members of the audience, especially if the technology is not well-integrated into the performance or if the glasses are uncomfortable to wear. The glasses that are now available are still prone to technical difficulties, such as connectivity issues or battery life problems. This can disrupt the flow of the performance and take away from the overall experience.
The use of such technologies during a theatrical play can be limited by the number of glasses available, as well as the cost and availability of the technology. This can limit the potential audience size and make it more difficult to create a widespread impact. There are also ethical concerns at play, such as the potential for data collection or invasion of privacy, especially if the glasses are connected to the internet. That said, there are considerable advantages in judicious use of virtual reality technologies in the performing arts. They can provide an immersive experience for the audience by allowing them to feel like they are part of the performance. This can help to create a more engaging and memorable experience. The audience can be provided with a unique perspective on the performance. For example, the glasses can be used to show the performance from the point of view of the characters, allowing the audience to experience the performance from a new and interesting angle. This allows for a more dynamic and interactive storytelling experience. For example, the VR glasses can be used to show different scenes or events happening simultaneously, allowing the audience to choose which scene to focus on.
The performance can also be more accessible to people who might not be able to attend in person, such as those who live far away or have physical limitations that prevent them from attending in person. Virtual reality can be a powerful tool for enhancing the audience’s experience during a theatrical play, providing a unique and memorable perspective on the performance, and creating a more dynamic and interactive storytelling experience. It also poses some challenges and potential problems that need to
be considered and addressed carefully to ensure a successful and impactful performance.
The performance “Elsewhere” is an immersive journey that lets the audience truly experience actors’ play and explore productive tensions between digital technologies and performative arts. This ELSEWHERE is proposed by Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni, actors, directors and pedagogues of Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium. The two of them will direct six international actors, for the first encounter between the company and digital substance.
The performance “Elsewhere” is inspired by the concepts expressed in the book “The Poetic of Space” written by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard.
This writing shows how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shapes our thoughts, memories, and dreams. It’s a book full of psychological and philosophical reflections on the concept of “house” in relation to a poetic imaginary that everyone has related to this topic.
Particularly significant are the images of “the childhood’s house” that represent the past, and “the dream house” that represent the future. It’s in the tension between these two worlds, connected to memories and dreams, that the characters of “Elsewhere” moves.
When we say: “I’m speaking now, but your mind is elsewhere,” or “He comes from elsewhere”, then what does that mean? Where is this “elsewhere”? If we must describe it in words, how will that be?
“Elsewhere”, from Latin “Aliter Ubi”, literally means “different where”, a poetic space where memories and dreams melt together. Each actors gives life to characters entrapped and suspended in their own personal “Elsewhere”. This world called “Elsewhere”, translates in images all these points of reflection, and gives to the spectators the possibility to travel in a world full of archetypes and familiar suggestions. The actor, on the other hand, puts these images in motion using their bodies and voices in relation with space, objects and music, thus finding a strong connection to the most intimate thoughts and memories of human beings. Watching from outside it will be like observing curiously from a window the entire life lived by the unique human beings chosen to inhabit the “Elsewhere”. The concept of “elsewhere” can be developed through virtual reality (VR) by creating digital environments that transport the user to a different place or time. Virtual reality can create highly immersive environments that transport the user to a different place. This can be used to create a sense of “elsewhere” by allowing the user to experience different environments that they might not have access to in the physical world. VR can also allow the user to interact with the environment and the objects within it, which can create a sense of presence and agency within the digital world. This can allow the user to explore and interact with environments in ways that might not be possible in the physical world. The same technologies can be used to re-create environments of the past, allowing users to experience what life was like in different times and places, transporting users to different eras and cultures. Users can also experience the same digital environment at the same time, creating a sense of social presence within the virtual world. Users can experience and interact with each other’s in a different place or culture. Overall, virtual reality can be a powerful tool for developing the concept of “elsewhere” by creating immersive and interactive digital environments that transport users to different places and times. Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni, stemming from the theatrical tradition of the Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium, has no previous experience working with this kind of technology whatsoever. During the 2020-2021 lockdown, every chance to transition towards a digital format was refused, because the two artists opinion was that technology could not equal the physical encounter between actors and audience. However, this new chance appears as a challenge for them.
The final idea is to use virtual reality glasses within the performance itself. In fact, it is intended to make this technology an integral part of the artistic narrative, making the VR visors elements in the hands of the spectators and actors. The spectators will be able to access through their cell phones the virtual spaces, visualized in a cardboard customized by Nordisk itself. The actors, at certain times during the show, will invite the viewers to put on the visors, so they can enter the Elsewhere, and be able to see with their own eyes what the characters are experiencing. The content inside the goggles will be 360-degree videos depicting performances, locations and effects created ad oc.
Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium creates and shares unforgettable stories with audiences locally, nationally and around the world – on stages, in urban spaces, on tour, in schools, on screen and in virtual reality. Strives to be as inclusive, diverse, and sustainable as possible. The artistic starting point is an interest and curiosity in theatre forms from both Western and non-Western traditions, and a desire to create a unique expression based on this encounter. Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium believes that performances offer opportunities for, and are an occasion for, a meeting of differences, whether you are an audience member or a performer. NTL enrich Danish performing arts with residencies, seminars, teaching activities, concerts, barter, guest performances, festivals and major international collaborations and networks. Creates ambitious new works of high artistic quality, the result of a unique working method and tradition developed and refined over many years. NTL extend the reach through online activities with conferences, workshops and streaming of performances. Alongside the expansion of our digital offer, we have founded the Immersive Lab for Innovation in Theatre Making and Archive (ILITA) as part of a strategic development project. An entirely new medium to explore performing arts, technology and society in a virtual universe and as a future potential to connect the local, national and international in a framework that can draw on both new and old experiences in the spirit of the theatre laboratory.
Odin Teatret was founded by Eugenio Barba in 1964 in Oslo, Norway. In 1966 the theatre moved to Holstebro and changed its name to Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium – Odin Teatret. Its 40 employees today come from 11 different countries and four continents.
Laboratory activities include: Our own productions presented in Holstebro, Denmark and abroad; ‘bartering’ with various environments in Holstebro and elsewhere; organisation of theatre group meetings; hosting theatre groups and ensembles; teaching activities in Denmark and abroad; the annual NTL Open Festival; publishing journals and books; production of didactic films and videos; research in theatre anthropology at sessions of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology); periodic performances with the multicultural Theatrum Mundi Ensemble; collaboration with CTLS, Center for Theatre Laboratory Studies at Aarhus University; Holstebro Festival Week; OTA, Research and dissemination, which serves as NTL’s living memory; WIN, Workout for Intercultural Navigators; artists in residence; children’s performances, exhibitions, concerts, panel discussions, other cultural initiatives and collaborative activities in Holstebro and surrounding region. NTL’s many years as a laboratory have resulted in the development of a professional and research environment characterised by interdisciplinary activities and international collaboration Since 1979, the research area of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology) has developed into a performing arts village where actors and dancers meet with researchers to compare and investigate the technical basis of theatrical presence. Another active area is the Theatrum Mundi Ensemble, which since the early 1980s has presented performances with a permanent core of artists from many professional traditions. From the beginning, Odin Teatret has concentrated on the actor’s training and ability to create presence on stage and build new relationships with the audience. In addition, analysis and development of the dramaturgies that make up a performance. There has been a constant interest in learning and passing on learned technical knowledge, because Odin’s actors are self-taught and have had to train themselves and each other.
NTL – Odin Teatret has created a total of 81 shows and performed in 66 countries in many different social contexts. Through these experiences, a special culture has grown up, based on cultural diversity and the ‘barter principle’: Odin’s actors present themselves with their work to a specific environment, which in turn responds with songs, music and dances that come from their own, local culture. A barter is an exchange of cultural expressions and provides insight into the other’s forms of expression. It is a social give and take that breaks down prejudices, language barriers and differences in thinking, views and ways of being. NTL is placed in Holstebro, a city in the Region Midtjylland on the Jutland peninsula in west Denmark. The municipality covers an area of 801.55 km², and has a population of 58,553.
The natural landscape around the city of Holstebro offers the perfect spot to shoot the 360-degree videos.
Videos will be filmed in place such as:
– Bovbjerg Lighthouse, where spectators will see the actors immerged in the astonishing landscapes from the cliff in front of the North Sea.
– Livbjerggård Strand, where spectators will see the actors in the perfect relation between nature and sea that only a beach on the Danish fjord can give.
– Ryde Plantage, a natural Danish forest, where spectators will see the actor interacting in the wild with trees, bushes and lakes.
These natural places will bring the spectators, closed in a theatre, in an “Elsewhere” that are landscapes extended as far as the eye could see.
The performances will be shown to an audience two times: in November in Holstebro (Denmark) at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium-Odin Teatret and in April at Tirana (Albany) in a venue offered by UPOLIS. Some days before the performances Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni will collaborate with Andrea Carraro from CarraroLAB to develop and improve the work and present it to the audience.
Valerio Peroni is an actor, theatre pedagogue and director at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium (Holstebro-DK). Born in Rome (Italy) in 1986. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts at Link Academy-European Academy of Dramatic Art-University of Malta. He also earned a Diploma at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). After the graduation he studied theatre with Italian and international masters.
He worked in Italy as an actor in well-known theatre companies and as a pedagogue in professional theatre schools. He works at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium since 2013, as actor, director and pedagogue.
Alice Occhiali is an actress, theatre pedagogue and director at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium (Holstebro-DK). Born in Ferrara (Italy) in 1984. She studied Psychology at the University of Padova (IT) and Science of Education at University of Ferrara (IT). She studied modern singing, theatre dance and theatre with Italian and international masters. Shee works at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium since 2013, as actress, director and pedagogue Within Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium, Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni are actors, pedagogues and directors based in Holstebro, Denmark. They work together since 2013 at Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium-Odin Teatret performing, leading, organizing and directing street performances, site-specific performances, theatre concerts, private and public theatre events, projects of theatre for the community and theatre workshops for children, teenagers and adults. They cooperated with international theatre groups and institutions in Italy, Denmark, Germany, France and Poland.
In all these years they developed collaborations, in the city of Holstebro (Denmark) and in other European cities, with several institutions such as: kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, high schools, universities, theatre schools, elderly care houses, centers for social assistance and help.
ACTIVITIES OF ALICE OCCHIALI & VALERIO PERONI :
1) PEDAGOGY (use of theatre as a pedagogical tool in different context):
–For children and teenagers
Theatre workshops in Kindergartens, Primary Schools, Secondary schools, High schools.
–For students of university and students of private and public theatre schools
Intensive Workshops, Masterclasses.
–For teachers, professors and pedagogues
Conferences and workshops.
–For professional actors and artists
Workshops, intensive laboratories, projects aimed at a final performance.
2) CREATION OF PERFORMANCES (Production of theatre performances and theatre interventions):
Short theatre performances addressed to kindergartens and primary schools with children from 2 to 10 years old:
- “The magic trunk”. Children performance from 1 to 5 years old, part of the project “Teatermøde” supported by Holstebro Kommune.
- “The magic tent” Children performance from 1 to 5 years old, part of the project “Teatermøde” supported by Holstebro Kommune.
- “Børnerim i en Gylden Kiste”. Children performance from 3 to 6 years old.
- “Lange Peter Madsen”. Children performance from 5 to 8 years old.
- “De Magiske Rejsende”. Street performance for children from 3 to 10 years old, part of the project “ApeCar Theatre Stage”, supported by Danish Culture Minister and Holstebro Kommune.
–For teenagers and adults
Theatre performances for conventional and non-conventional theatre spaces:
- “Long nights”. Theatre performance in two version: Italian and English. Italian version realized with the support of “Multidisciplinary residence of Bassa Sabina, year 2016” and of “Argot Produzioni”. English version co-produced by “Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium-Odin Teatret”.
- “Baalhaus-Primo studio”. Theatre performance in Italian, premiered at the Festival “I giorni della Comune” at Teatro Studio Uno in Rome (Italy).
- “Baalhaus-Secondo studio”. Theatre performance in several languages (English, Italian, Danish, French) co-produced by “Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium-Odin Teatret” and presented in the “2nd NTL Festival” at Odin Teatret in Holstebro (Denmark).
- “Vintage Amore”. Street theatre performance part of the project “ApeCar Theatre Stage”, supported by Danish Culture Minister and Holstebro Kommune.
–For old people
Theatre performances for elderly care homes and associations/institutions with activities for old people:
- “Kroppens Minder”. Theatre intervention with international artists supported by Fonden Ensomme Gamles Værn
3) COMMUNITY PROJECTS
Interventions for the community, workshop and performances for associations and institutions for the social and community assistance such as: elderly care homes, rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and alcoholics, centers for immigrants, centers for support and help of people with disability:
- “Kroppens Minder”. Theatre intervention with international artists supported by Fonden Ensomme Gamles Værn. “ApeCar Theatre Stage”. Theatre project supported by Danish Culture Minister and Holstebro Kommune.
CarraroLAB will assign Andrea Carraro from its team. He’s a cultural operator with 5 years of experience in the field of contemporary art, as an artist and as a curator, 7 years of experience in the digital business with skills in 3D modeling, image editing, digital art restoration, 360 ° technology, public relations and content developing. He’s goal will be to oversee the theater’s use of new 360-degree technologies and implementation of virtual reality.
Alice Occhiali and Valerio Peroni works actively with the children of Holstebro Kommune. In schools and institutions, a consistent number of immigrants is present. This new performance can give the children and youngsters from the community the possibility of enjoying a theatrical play that reflects about theme of the Elsewhere, and then discussing it. The use of new technologies will contribute to making the message more attractive to younger audiences.
Elsewhere will see to adhere, as it sees fit, to the Spore license.