By David Lipfert
Catch a taste of Beijing-style avant-garde with this production by Théatre du Rêve Expérimental under Chong Wang's direction. He limns modern life with cell phones, a tangle of keyboards and a microwave as props. Unfolding in short scenes and in slow and slower motion, three players show the different relationships possible between man and machine. Danqing Liu is captivated by her cell's display screen while He Gao moves donkey-like bent over by her tangle of keyboards on her back. Anzheng Liang is the link between the two, either with gradually unfolding gesture or at times physically joining them. Video projection at the rear gets supplanted by Liu's video camera trained on the audience in a nod to our contemporary surveillance society. Creatively assorted hip black street wear (large white cuffs for Liang), varied lighting and electro-tech music round out the presentation. Wang's open-ended close is most likely a device to keep the audience involved and give ready discussion material afterward. Although his viewpoint appears to be somewhat pessimistic, this production offers nothing but optimism for the development of alternative theater in China.
At New School for Drama Theater. 55 minutes.