“When I collaborate, I want to collaborate with the wrong person.” Pichet Klunchun, Thai dancer and director, reveals a glint of mischief behind his earnest and gentle demeanor.
“I am looking for misunderstandings, for opportunities to negotiate. When things are wrong, they are right.”
When I was initially brought as a dramaturg into the Mahajanaka Dance Drama project, directed by composer Sebastian Reynolds and choreographer Adrienne Hart (Neon Dance), in collaboration with Klunchun and Thai musicians Pradit Saengkrai and Great Lekakul, we began by asking “how can we tell a story from the Buddhist mythology using traditional Thai and contemporary Western art forms?”
As a dramaturg, as well as engaging with what goes into a work, I draw a director’s attention to what I see coming out of the work. But I don’t, as a rule, imagine that I can represent the audience–after all, I don’t know how any individual audience member might react to what they see on stage. However, for this particular project, it was difficult to avoid an engagement with the question of different kinds of audiences.