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Monday, March 7, 2011

SL ARTS & LITERATURE: Review - Dramatiques Troupe Tours “Narnia” Production


Preparation is everything.  Especially when performing in Second Life.  Because performing in SL can be just as nerve-wracking as performing in the corporeal world.  Timing is still everything, as is paying attention to your audience – an audience who may not even be in your same time zone!  It is easy to look at something like a virtual dance performance and say that it is just so much hopping on poseballs. Yes, technically it is.  But hopping on the correct poseball, at the correct moment, and hopefully wearing the correct thing.  In this the technology of the grid does not always aid your efforts.  In all respects, preparation, design, and execution, the current Narnia tour of Dramatiques Performance Troupe shows pride in, and attention to these details.


Narnia is, of course, the retelling of C.S. Lewis’ popular fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Published in 1950 and set circa 1940, it is the first-published book of The Chronicles of Narnia and is the best known book of the series.  The Dramatiques Performance Troupe presents an abridged version of the novel as a story ballet.  I mean seriously abridged.  Fans wishing to see the journey of all four Pevensey children will be sorely disappointed by this production. 

Lasting an economic 30 minutes, the production hits the high points of the story arc with a reduced cast of less than ten performers.  A fully realized performance of the whole book would take much, much longer. So if you go to see a performance, do not be late!  I think it is best to take this presentation of the Narnia legend on its own terms: as a story ballet – a reinterpretation of the novel’s major themes.  The visuals are good and the animations built for the dancing are nicely done.  The execution of the performance I saw was almost nearly flawless.

The music used, and some of the imagery from the presentation bear striking resemblance to elements of the Narnia film.  That’s Disney money behind that film.  “The Mouse” takes creative and intellectual properties very, very seriously.  Hopefully Dramatiques have tread carefully and covered their bases in compliance with the DMCA.  With so much creativity on the grid, and so many exceptional content creators, I hope that Dramatiques will challenge themselves to extend the creativity of their future presentations, and open up even more opportunities for original artistic excellence in their work.

The Dramatiques Performance Troupe has been touring this show since February and there are three more performances remaining: Sunday, March 13th at 1pm on Inspiration Island, and Sunday March 20th and 27th at 1pm at the Zenotopia Theatre.  Unfortunately, at press time I was unable to run down the slurls for these performances, but a search in-world or a look at The Dramatiques blog should send you in the right direction.


The Dramatiques Performance Troupe


~ Caledonia Skytower, Reporting
“Any ink is good ink, even if it is virtual.”

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