I was here. And there

usted esta aquiOne of my worst nightmares became reality last week but thanks to a surprising show of strength of character, auditioning for a hot new musical in front of a hard task mistress worked out just fine.

It certainly pushed some personal boundaries; some readers might recall that I hung up my ballet shoes for good aged five in 1982.

But Usted está aquí (You Are Here), directed by Natalia Chami and Romina Bulacio Sak, turns the tables on the classic role of spectator watching actor, thereby transforming a mobile audience of 30 into cast members. Life participating in art. Me pretending to take a dance audition seriously.

The word “play” in the theatrical sense surely comes from the action of play acting and being playful, and as fun and amusing as it is, Usted está aquí is more than that; it’s an experience. It encourages, without pushing you over the course of 10 segments to interact and form part of the production while taking you on a journey.

If I ever found myself as Dr. Who’s assistant, stepping out of the Tardis God knows where after a journey defying time and space, it would probably hint at the Usted está aquí experience.

Another comparison is being put on a washing-machine cycle. Transported between several scenarios, one of which actually includes some spinning, you pop out at the end, fresh and energized, if a little crumpled.

My own voyage of self-discovery meant that I overcame pirouetting across a vast empty stage because everyone was as crap at pirouetting as me. Thank goodness for improvisation. And the howls of laughter across the board were reassuring rather than terrifying.

Mostly in Spanish but also with a segment in English and an unidentifiable gypsy-esque language, you are not only merely an observing bystander but also dabble in the roles of reveller, parent, traveller and more.

Go with 29 of your closest friends. The role-playing and participation can only be enhanced by watching them throw on an invisible cloak of a new character while inadvertently taking centre stage.

Where & when
CC Konex, Sarmiento 3131.Tue and Wed at 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm, 9.30pm.

Buenos Aires Herald: July 10, 2013

Ph: Ariadna Kramarz

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