Niebo The Flow Quartet - Part Four
Dramaturgy and Staging Notes / Chris Baldwin
- THE VENUE - HALLA STULECIA
Niebo is performed in Halla Stulecia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in 1911-13 by the architect Max Berg. No other space could so perfectly hold such a large audience AND symbolise the multi-cultural heritage of this city.
- THE STORY - WHO IS THIS MYSTERIOUS NARRATOR?
The Story is narrated by a mysterious woman who enters the stage from the AUDIENCE. She seems to provoke the action, introduce the city to the audience, and introduce the character Nina to the audience.
Nina is our first woman. We see how she works in the city, cooking and feeding the workers who are building and maintaining the infrastructure. We see Nina fall in love with a circus performer called Bluebird. Their child, Anna, is seen growing up. But the city is changing and both Nina and Anna are seen to be rejected by their own city. War breaks out. Mother and daughter are gradually made into “the others” by the citizens until Nina is killed. Bluebird also dies as war envelopes the city.
Anna survives the war. She witnesses the complete abandoning of the city by it's occupants – her fellow citizens. She is the only one who remains. New people are seen arriving. Anna is also a witness to the new arrivals.
Anna meets and falls in love with Josef. He is a new arrival from the East. At first Anna is rejected by the new citizens, as she is clearly a “remainer” from the other times – but, thanks to Josef, she is accepted. They have a child called Maria.
Maria is seen going to school as a child. She is seen going to university and becoming an architect. She is seen taking part in political demonstrations and being attacked by the riot police.
We then see the key moment in the show. The mysterious Narrator takes the place of the actress playing the 22 year old Maria. She, the narrator, is Maria today.
We, the audience, witness Maria (narrator) directing the building of the steeple as it is placed upon the Spirits. Maria oversees the raising of the bell into the steeple. It is she, Maria our narrator, who rings the bell. In her body the experience of the three generations of women of her family are embedded. She represents the principal traditions of the city.