Saturday, November 28, 2009

stay away from imaginary places

my last trip to greece ruined me for greece. ah, i could cry. my time on the island of rhodes in the sixties a mythical experience. you can see the novel here:

and my trip to russia extinguished its dream:

it wasn't that i didn't have lots of luck and a great time. the cabin of peter the great, the homes of dostoyevsky, rimsky-korsakov, pushkin, chekhov, pasternak, a visit to the hermitage and the moscow art theater. everything fell into place. prostitutes wandered in and out of the hotel next to red square. i roamed the kremlin (how cramped the churches inside).

yet the reality harsher than my adventures in russian lit. yes, i'd read everything. almost all the novels of dostoyevsky, the plays and stories of chekhov, gogol, pushkin, tolstoy. the list is endless and the fascination lasted for years. alas, reality destroyed it all.

the same happened in india (i didn't have a camera with me). true, indelible scenes imprinted themselves on my brain. i made it to the taj mahal, then to nepal after thailand and sri lanka. a friend once said, 'we travel to see ourselves in a place.' all too true. unfortunately, we'd better go to places we've never romanticized. india the actual obliterated the india of my imagination, all the stories i'd read, the history. garbage replaced the pristine fantasies.

actually, i'm looking a tiger in the eye right now, one from bandhavgarh national park, india, a bengal beast. it's a screensaver that opportunely popped up. how magnificent it is. the real thing would probably leave me cold.

yes, matisse always looks better to me in books, and the paintings of bonnard worse. only picasso seems to reproduce easily, his work illustrative, the colors not complex and the lines strong. so, go see the work of the last two in paris - it won't disappoint. avoid the work of matisse. he always looks more pallid than his reproductions.

someday i want to write about the lady of shallot. transfixed by images in the mirror, she had a vibrant life. running after the actual sir lancelot, she died a miserable death. don't take the risk of making certain dreams come true. pick and choose.

here are the pics of the chico dance theatre run-thru before thanksgiving. this reality will definitely be better than the dream:

and i've re-worked some of my native-american collages. i'm not sure they aren't more intriguing than any photograph. these last often tell you more than you want to know.

and many of you have already seen the pictures of the blue room fall ball:

yes, it is embarassing, but i've also posted pictures of the production i directed several years ago, 'incorruptible':