Out of Darkness
File:ShowsOutofdarknessFireflophoto1t.jpg Outof Darkness, Theatre Terra Mobile, St.Petersburg,(1995) Co-design with Milla Kalen
(Designs shown below the text description of the piece)
Things of DarknessA movement piece by Ludmila Babenkova
A black painted stage, dimly lit. Awhite screen made of drapes or paper, lit from behind.
SR lies a man, surrounded by strangeobjects.He and the objects arecovered with white dust as though half buried in sand.
UC is a huge painting with pieces ofmirror embedded in the paint.Infront of the painting, close to it, as if she is the artist or a part of thecanvas, or both, is a woman in a costume also covered in mirrors and paint.She works with the painting, taking mirrors from her costume and affixingthem to the painted canvas.
SL is a large pyramid-shaped pile ofrope and crushed white paper.Unseenbeneath it is a woman in a white costume decorated with bits of rope, matchingthe pile.
UL&R are the shadows of two otherpeople to either side of the painting, behind the screen.
Shadow 1:"Black Hole," a woman in a voluminous drape ofblack, entirely covering the face and body, and with a train of more black.When the woman grasps the train to move, her arm (with a long stickextension) makes a circle with the train like a black ring.
Shadow 2:"Man in Black,"a man wearing a black top hat, tie and tails, glasses, gloves, shirt,shoes, etc, all black.He carries alarge old fashioned black umbrella, with large gold bells attached to the edges.It is closed.
Lights up on SL woman.SL woman begins to emerge. She struggles under her pile of ropes, anddances her way free of them.Herdance speaks of how she was born of these ropes, how she struggled to be free ofher problems, and how she found her rebirth.In the pile of debris, she finds a fire flower, a symbol of her rebirth,and she then takes it toward the UC woman in slow motion.
Lights up on SR man.He begins in white, with white objects.As his character progresses, he and they become colored, usingprojections of different colored costumes and objects that transform him andthem from dull sameness, to rainbow diversity.After his transfiguration, he too heads towards UC woman.
Lights up UC, where the Rope woman andProjection man encounter the woman in the mirror costume.UC woman begins with a shell of her mirror costume, rope shoes, andB&W makeup.At first the twoare attracted by her mirrors, then they aid her in shedding the mirror costumelike a shell.A fire flower costumeis revealed beneath.The two freeze in place, as the fire flower does her dance ofthe birth of fire, and its cleansing power.
Asthe dance comes to a close the two shadow figures come through the screen with agreat noisy crashing sound.Slowlythe "Black Hole" woman beckons the three transformed people to comethrough the black hole's ring into the other world behind the screen.As they do so the sound of rain is heard.The man in black opens his umbrella.The three exit to the other world as the lights dim, and the stage isagain engulfed in darkness.
Photo of Fire Flower, TheFire Flower was made from Russian type nylon window screening, dyed and painted, sewn toan old swimsuit, and to sleeves made from a pair of run nylons with painted flames on it.No wiring was necessary to make the flames stay upright.
Note: The Fire Flower was intended to emerge out of a mirror costume created by MillaKalen, seen at her site.
Rendering for changes to be incorporatedinto the costume for The Woman in Paper, previously made and designed by Milla Kalen. Asthe performance developed in rehearsals, the Woman in Paper came to symbolize differentthings, but Milla had already moved to Alaska by then, so I was called in to alter the twocompleted designs, and design the rest of the show. Here is the costume asdesigned by Milla before the changes: