Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 18 News List

Cross-media production takes musical form

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

A harpist, a DJ and a percussionist make for odd characters in the play Scarlet Scarabande.


Cross-media stage productions must overcome several dangers -- some stylistic, some thematic and some technical to avoid not doing justice to any of the chosen media. The direction needs to be meticulous to smooth the seams between the media while the production requires a high degree of subtlety.

Pink Moon Music Theatre (粉月亮音樂劇場) takes on the risks of billing its newest production Scarlet Sarabande (紅色薩拉邦) as "cross-media" with the confidence of having successfully done so before in its staging of Blue Mosaic (籃色馬賽克) last year ? -- the soundtrack of which received three Golden Melody Award nominations.

This time around, director Koji Sakurai has teamed up house music DJ SL (劉軒) with harpist Shannon Chieh (解瑄), vocalist Macy Shih (是娟) and percussionist Wu Pei-ching (吳配菁) to create a show that blurs the boundary between stage drama and music concert.

"It's more a concert than a play, really. There's a story, but the music is what drives the show," SL said earlier this week after rehearsal.

The story is drawn from poems written by Chieh that tell of one woman's overpowering urge to leave the city she lives in to travel in search of new faces, new places and hopefully a new self. But as opposed to a narrative driving the story, the show hinges on the twin motifs of the color red and the letter S, which comes through in the multimedia element of the show and in the selection of composers played by Chieh on the harp, all of whom have names beginning with S.

The assortment of musical styles in the show is intended to reflect the characters' personalities and to individualize their communication, which is another reminder of how the central aspect in this play is actually the music.

"It's very free form, but the sparse dialogue and the interaction with the multimedia projections help it all to make sense," SL said.

The show will be staged tonight and tomorrow at

7:30pm at the Novell Hall (新舞台), located at 3 Songshou Rd, Taipei (台北市松壽路3). Tickets cost NT$450 to NT$1,200 and are available at the venue.

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