Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Snap Dramaturgy: Contemporary Mystery Performance @ Edfringe 2017

Following its Fringe debut in 2016, SNAP! Returns to the Assembly, George Square Theatre from August 3rd to 28th at 3pm-4pm daily (except August 14th, 21st).

 This enormously entertaining magic show boasts a cast of Korea’s greatest illusion artists in an enchanting, engaging and hilarious show like no other. 

A contemporary mystery magical show, SNAP is a multi-faceted, ingenious show combining moments of classic comedy theatre with a unique stage language, magic and illusion. 

The cast of eight award-winning performers – huge stars in their own country and masters of their craft – bring to life characters such as The Alchemist, The Time Traveller, The Dreamer, The Trickster and a host of others to stage a fabulous fantasy experience to Fringe audiences. 

The show opens with the performers discovering a locked door; once they open it, they find themselves entering a series of different realities which include origami windmills that seem to appear from nowhere, illusions created by clever lighting, lightning costume changes and shadow puppets.

1. What was the inspiration for this performance?

Since I was a child, I had a strong admiration, a sort of longing, for a surrealistic worldview. I always believed that magic is the remnant of such a world often unseen on Earth. 

From Salvadore Dali to Vladimir Kush, the unconscious and visionary worldview rooted in surrealism has become a major source of inspiration our show, SNAP. We emphasize fairy tales that are not dominated by reason, and concentrate on reproducing, in Goethes words, realistic fantasies, on stage.

2. Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

Performance art is like an incubator in the arts & humanities, where you can experiment with various stage languages in the hypothetical world one has created with an intent. Nowadays in contemporary art, the boundaries between genres have collapsed. 

This enables us to take on more socio-political issues in our work than we used to. We also expect that there will be more opportunities to extend our ideas to the public through the expansion of systems like NT Live or other social media platforms.

3. How did you become interested in making performance?

Ive gone through the ridiculously demanding education system in Korea and had an intense desire to interact with the world of fantasies and daydream as an act of resistance. In this phase of rebellion against the Korean social norms and institutions, I became immersed in the highly realistic world of fantasies provided by novels, plays, films, and magic. 

After working alongside as a magic director for musicals, a professor in the magic entertainment department, a performance consultant, and producer of magic festivals, my colleagues and I decided to make a full-scale production to share the real secret magic (Not a trick part) that we realized during our working years.

4. Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

We have a very strong foundation as every member of our team is an artist who are constantly exploring and researching their own ways to express their imaginations. Since we began, we opened up to each other a lot about our individual artistic worldviews and resources, which allowed us to develop a more unified vision for our performance. 

Then, we analyzed why the public might find magic rather boring (or even, outright dislike it) to really get to the fantasy world that had existed in the innocence of their childhood. We are constantly brainstorming for various stage effects and phenomenon to really materialize this world for them.

5. Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Most magic shows marry the magical method (the trick) and showmanship to put the magician in the limelight. Around 2012 and 2015 when Korean magic swept the podium in the most prestigious magic competition (FISM World Championships), our production also followed that basic formula. 

However, SNAP is quite distinct. Using organic stage language and characters, we create a surreal scene for the audience so they can purely enter a dreamlike, fantastical world for the duration of the show.

6. What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Generally, family shows are catered to entertaining the children. SNAP can deeply move and enthrall anyone regardless of age, gender, culture, or language. By putting the doubt, the suspicion aside from the secret, we hope that every member of our audience can purely enjoy the fantasy world we envisioned and created for them. 

The moon and sun in the sky, our natural environment, and even us ourselves, we are all part of the magic that surrounds daily, which becomes apparent when we use a more careful and loving eye to observe our extraordinary world. In a way, SNAP is an homage to the era of entertainment where the goal was purely to comfort, to console, to connect us.

7. What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
We eliminated the talk, mental magic, and illusion that is employed in a typical magic show. Using cheerful characters that are easy to understand, we intertwined the curiosity-filled world view and creative magic acts through a narrative structure. 

You’ll witness that our show is cleverly edited and spans an array of genres as well as stage languages. Its truly a performance that can engage every individualcome and see the show yourself!

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