Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess

Premiére date30 Sep. 2010
Produced byTore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret Bergen
CoproducersBIT Teatergarasjen, Black Box Teater
In collaboration withThe National Stage, Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, Wrap Arts Centre
AudienceAdults, Youth
LanguageNorwegian
ExpressionsTheatre, Musical theatre, Post-dramatic theatre, Audio Theatre
Running period5 Jun. 2010  
WebsiteTransiteatret-Bergen

About Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess

Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess by Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret-Bergen was subtitled The Anatomy of Powerlessness – Into the Test Zone.

As state, society and school talk loudly about young people's potential and development possibilities, new "naturalistic" research talks even more loudly about what's static, what's congenital and what's determined by nature. What happens when the "loser" in encounter with popular science, TV entertainment and Internet tests begins to look at him/herself as nature?

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More about Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess

In the chamber musical audio play Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess by Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret-Bergen, we were introduced for the following fable: A young researcher presents his results to a committee. His discipline is somewhat uncertain, but during the examination hour, he has the time to present a handful of tests made on a selection of test persons. One of these tests is closely related to Martin Seligman’s famous dog research about so-called learned helplessness. After a promising start the candidate gets into sufficient problems to be rejected by the committee.

Ressentiment – Pavane for a dead princess picked up where Elephant Stories left, anticipating the subject of Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and Harald Eia's program Hjernevask (literally: Brain Wash), but which, opposed to the mentioned, took a clear stand against a naïve, naturalist tendency in presenting and understanding biology research. For instance several psychiatric diagnoses on the level of hypothesis (ADD, bipolarity) are presented and received as if they were natural and unchangeable sizes.

In Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess the aim was to examine the anatomy of powerlessness. What happens when the loser in encounter with an increased number of tests within the school system, popular science, TV entertainment and Internet begins to perceive his/her own performance as nature? The term Ressentiment describes the passivising emotion of envy and powerlessness. Do we live in an era ruled by tests? Does the test create ressentiment? And how destructive is this for a free society?

What new - and to date - unknown dramas will be produced when new naturalistic research creeps out of the laboratory windows, becomes talk show entertainment on national state television channels before they end up as a part of our understanding of ourselves? "Ressentiment" is a term (S. Kierkegaard) describing a frustration caused by a deep sense of powerlessness. As a "visual radio play" in a chamber music exchange between stage and music – Tore Vagn Lid's piece saw itself on the track of such "anatomy of powerlessness".

Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess by Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret-Bergen was built up as a "visual radio play", where the main "Character" - the Candidate - was played by a mobile (wireless) loudspeaker, and where two of the three musicians were starring as loudspeaker elements in a chamber musical setting. "The Committee" evaluating the candidate consisted of recorded voices, professional actors, media professionals and amateurs. The musical core material of the drama was composed around Maurice Ravel's Pavane for a dead princess, Heritor Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieiras no. 5, Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for luth and orchestra, Ludvig van Beethoven's Symphony no. 7, Zager/Evans' 2525, Big Star's Space, Johnny Cash's The beast in me.

Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess also was one of four movements in the suite called Out, out into the green! by Tore Vagn Lid.

Ressentiment - Pavane for a dead princess by Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret was supported by Spenn.no, Kunstløftet, Arts Council Norway and the municipality of Bergen.

Sources:

Transiteatret-Bergen, transiteatret.com, 07.08.2010, http://www.transiteatret.com/english.html

BIT Teatergarasjen, bit-teatergarasjen.no, Autumn program 2010, 07.08.2010, http://www.bit-teatergarasjen.no/article/350