Why “1984…Now”?

“1984…Now” is an Orwellian contemporary vision, combining dance, theater and pop culture.

“1984…Now” intends to reflect upon the values of the world we live in today, and take a step back; with touches of humor and optimism woven through a dystopian tale.

I wanted to create a story which addressed some of the deep social and political issues facing our world today, while also balancing it with hope and joy. This show is the evolution of my expressive Theatrical World Dance style. “1984…Now” is a very contemporary vision of our world. It is a warning about our willingness to be observed by Big Brother, our isolating addiction to telephones and “facescreens”, our overpowering media, the inversion of values which makes us question our core values… As much as it paints our numbness and malfunctions of our society,”1984…Now” is also a show that brings light, hope, love, and strong values to build upon. It is a message of peace. The show is really unique, original. It’s a form of political musical comedy where music and singing meet dance and theater. Think silent movies and Charlie Chaplin meet the king of Pop Michael Jackson. It is a true show about globalization, fusion… and raising ourselves to be free citizens.

Nowadays. Like every citizen of Europia, surrounded by and spied on through each FaceScreen, closely controlled by the Thought Police, Winston and Julia lead robotic lives without freedom of thought, without pleasure, without joy, without trust, without possible questioning. Interactions between citizens are minimal. Smart phones and electronic communication progressively replace human interactions. Neighbors are strangers. Community is destroyed. Family is destroyed. Individualism is pushed to an extreme, even as individuals are destroyed at the core. Trust is destroyed.

Regular celebrations of “Hate Week” indoctrinate citizens to hate the enemies of the party, hate the enemies of the nation, hate their neighbors. Citizens are told what to think, how to think, what topics to discuss, what jokes can or cannot be made. The Thought Police defines the rules thought, and of the press.

Like every winner, the Party writes history. “Who controls the Past, controls the Future. Who controls the Present, controls the Past.”

1984…2014 Anasma as Big Brother portrait 1 by Margaux Rodrigues

“Big Brother is watching you.” Big Brother is looking after you. Big brother makes believe he takes care of his citizens so that they willingly let themselves be observed by an ever-increasing number of video cameras in order to feel more secure. Citizens willingly erase the barriers between private and public life with social media and social networks. Each person’s financial transactions are tracked in case one day a thief steals his credit card.

“Big Brother is watching you.” Big Brother is observing a world where one can hardly find his moral compass, a world where sins have spread and values are reversed… “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” Citizens are permanently distracted from real matters and entertained by fallacious reality TV. Extreme violence is encouraged by video games and bloody televised news.

Winston and Julia seem to be two citizens like any other, but we discover they are two rebels. Together, they find a way to flip around the values that were once reversed. In order to stay free in their minds, their strategy lies in creating balance and experiencing pleasures without excess, learning the rules of the system to break them discreetly, building community to develop autonomy from the bureaucracy, learning to fight, educating themselves, claiming their intellectual curiosity and integrity, and cultivating love and hope.

Under the artistic direction of Anasma “the Dancing Storyteller,” follow her, Chiara Meloni and Massimo Capuano of Compagnia Degli Gnomi in this adventure adapting George Orwell’s master work “1984” and Anasma’s solo dance work since 2008, with songs and lyrics from her first album “Chance is Back.” This show takes the spectator between fiction and reality, between past, present and future, in a space where live performance meets multimedia, and where world dances meet physical theater, silent movies, mime and singing.

With an original soundtrack by Blastermind, lyrics written and sung by Anasma, audio-visual effects by Nicolas Libersalle, Lea Amiel and Margaux Rodriguez.

Synopsis

Part 1- Genesis of Europia Nowadays

Anasma Fallen angel 3 by Fernando Naiberg

A Fallen Angel defies God as he finds Pandora’s Box containing all the Evils of Earth. Chased from Heaven, he takes his revenge by spreading sins on Earth. The Little Devil transforms God’s earthly creation into to the world of “Europia Nowadays” where values are reversed, and citizens are observed and oppressed by his vassal Big Brother.

Nowadays. Europia. Like every other citizen of the continent, being surrounded by and spied through each Facescreen, closely controlled by the Thought Police, Winston and Julia lead robotic lives without freedom of thought, without pleasure, without joy, without trust, without possible questioning. Interactions between citizens are minimal. Sexual acts are solely reserved to married couples with reproductive ambitions. Babies are raised by the Party and as they grow up, children are encouraged to snitch on their parents if they are suspected to be guilty of Thought Crime. Family is destroyed. Individuals are destroyed. Community is destroyed. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” During Hate Week, citizens are taught to loath the Party’s greatest enemy and betrayer: G-LoveStein.

PART 2 -Thought Crime

Deep inside, Winston thinks differently. He senses that something is wrong in his world. He questions the good intentions of Big Brother for the Party Members. He dreams of escaping, of having a different life. One day, he meets Julia, another rebel.

PART 3 – Love Rebels

ANASMA CHARLIE CHAPLIN by ANDRE ELBING 2115

Breaking all the rules, Winston and Julia meet secretly, practicing sensual activism, buying goods on the black market, and fostering rebellious thoughts by watching movies forbidden by the Party. Time passes and they learn to trust and love each other.
But one day, Winston and Julia get caught by the Thought Police… imprisoned, tortured and brainwashed.

…Rewind!!! This show is about hope for a better today and tomorrow! One day, Winston and Julia go and meet secretly with G-LoveStein, the Love Soldier and his Underground Love Army.

Dedication

To Pierre Rajau-Vuong, to real french revolutionaries, to the memories of Charlie Chaplin and Michael Jackson, and to those who seek freedom of mind, soul and body for themselves and for others.

Download the detailed treatment

Download a press release

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