Intermedia nights - Movements of the mind - in which people were catalysts
By NORMAN WILSON
Intermedia Nights moved meditatively to a successful close at the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday evening after bringing five days of exciting new ideas in the performing and visual arts to Vancouver. As an experimental program it achieved its purpose, making a tangible and living experience out of some of the new art forms being developed in the sixties.
In the mood of the thinking people they were out to attract, these new art forms are designed to get onlookers involved and to take part in the experience. Many of the hundreds of people who attended showed their involvement in spontaneous and uninhibited to what was going on around them in light, sound and movement.
The passive response was out. Everybody had to be a part of the action. Divisions between audience and performer and exhibit largely disappeared, in fact making the worn audience virtually redundant for such an event. If anyone wanted to get up and do their thing - move, speak or touch the exhibits - they did just that. And they were encouraged to do so.
The danced wildly and watched their shadow intermingle with the projected moving pictures on the walls. The set performance for the evening was merely the basic ingredient. Those present were the catalysts who breathed continuous new life and ideas into what was going on making it a constantly developing entity. This improvization and unpredictability is one of the main factors helping to promote the new era of creativity in the performing arts.
The final evening continued the reflective mood of individual involvement captured by the closing event on friday evening. In contrast to the tribal involvement entailed in most of the earlier happenings, the new atmosphere induced an inward looking detachment. This encouraged by an environment of blackness, low key sound and the use of isolating cocoons of cylindrical corrugated cardboard in which people were invited to sit.
In the first presentation of the evening the Helen Goodwin dancers performed in an eerie glimmer of rows of vertical neon tube lighting to a low, monotonous and repetitive sound accompaniment. The flitting figures, combined with movements that appeared to denote yearning and longing, projected a dream-like image of a vaguely remembered someone who came in the night and in the morning was no more.
This into a period of meditation in the same environment and which, for those disciplined enough in mind-control, provided an appropriate atmosphere for reflection. But without a leader or guru, which unfortunately Intermedia had not been able to obtain, the event lacked the positive direction it really needed.
So Intermedia Nights ended. Director Joe Kyle summed it up as a success. Certainly this first major production of Intermedia has proved the organization's worth as an innovator and its ability to attract an enveloped audience. With this initial practical experience that the week has provided for them, the next Intermedia presentation can be looked forward to with some anticipation.
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