Yolanda Uriz: “The piece moves people.”

On October 15, Ensemble Modelo62 from The Hague will present their Three Degrees from Reality in a sold out Korzo. A hybrid work: in the performance three different works of art come together and visitors play an important role. We spoke to Ezequiel Menalled, Luz Lassizuk and Yolanda Uriz from Modelo62 about this extraordinary work.

In February you could not perform Three Degrees from Reality due to the lockdown. Has the piece changed since that time?
Luz: The piece was really difficult to make because since it has audience participation as one of the main elements, it was difficult to rehearse. Postponing the presentation due to the lockdown, gave us more time to organize different tryouts where we tested the system of the piece with the audience.
Yolanda: The feedback received during those sessions was very positive and it helped us a lot to tweak and adjust some elements for the subsequent presentations.
Ezequiel: The piece is essentially the same but we feel that some details grew and developed in a positive way. All the elements of the piece match better to one another.

In Three Degrees from Reality image, sound, smell and technology come together, the audience also has an active role. Can you tell us more about this?
Luz: We see Three Degrees from Reality as a piece that is three pieces at the same time. A complex system in which the first degree is the material that feeds the other two. Before the piece starts, the audience has to decide in which Degree they want to start.
Ezequiel: In Degree 1 the audience has an active role making decisions on how they want to experience the piece. Our idea is to offer a different way of perceiving music far from the traditional concert setting in which the audience is sitting, listening and watching a stage where the musicians are. In this Degree 1 they can choose to make music, to just listen to it and play with the objects on stage. It is a full sensorial experience. It is also an invitation to interact with others.
Yolanda: Degree 2 is a live cinema where the audience watches a screen where some fragments of Degree 1 are projected in real time. The sounds are also coming from Degree 1 and are amplified. Also smell and light are present in Degree 2. Even if we play with the same elements, the experience in Degree 2 is very different: it is filtered by technology and the audience has a passive role, they cannot modify the narrative.
Luz: Degree 3 is only accessed virtually. There is no scenic space and it is where the visual and sonic materials are distorted the most. You can watch it online from any part of the world, but it becomes a private experience, without sharing it with others.

Ezequiel Menalled, Luz Lassizuk, Yolanda Uriz

On your instagram you share that this is one of the most challenging projects you did so far. What was the challenge?
Ezequiel: The fact that there are three resulting works of art makes it very challenging. All the technical build-up and productional aspects are bigger than in the other projects we produced before. And at the same time each Degree has specific needs that are not always compatible, so a lot of balancing is needed to make it work.
Luz: Also, as mentioned before, we had to develop the work without testing it with audiences and this made it more complex. For the performers as well: not only have they to play their instruments, but moreover be hosts for the audience and be aware of their unexpected reactions. So they became actors and actresses as well as being aware of the dramaturgy of the piece, which is something they weren’t used to.
Yolanda: The most important challenge was how to invite the audience to participate and make actions on stage without them feeling obliged to do it. The challenge for us as makers was to direct the work without being “authoritarian”.
Ezequiel: Now that we have premiered the piece, we see that we successfully overcame all these challenges. Even if it is a risky piece and it is very different each show, we really enjoy performing it each time, and we can feel that the audience shares this enjoyment.

You have already received audiences at previous performances. How did the public feel about playing an active role?
Ezequiel: At the beginning it is always a bit shocking for the audience when they arrive at the venue and are asked to decide how they want to experience the piece. But once they push themselves out of their comfort zone, the feedback is always very positive.
Yolanda: The piece always moves people in different ways. Audiences have different approaches towards the piece, but the common message we got from them is that the piece is a unique experience because they are involved in creating the piece as well.
Luz: In every feedback we get we find more layers than the ones we imagined while making the piece, and that also gives us new perspectives of our own work. That is proof that the piece has its own life apart from its creators and it will continue growing. This is the best thing that can happen to a work of art.

Three Degrees from Reality is performed on October 15 at 7:30pm at Korzo. Tickets are sold out. 

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