The Stories Behind International Joint Production
國際聯合創作背後的故事


The Stories Behind International Joint Production

國際聯合創作背後的故事

 

Text by Harry Liu

我們曾經在第15期雜誌中聚焦了英國青少年劇場,重點研究了他們是如何將“劇場”與創意實踐、人文教育以及觀眾培育有機結合到一起的。在那一期的雜誌中,我們采訪到了將科學實驗與講故事完美融合的戲劇作品《能量秀》的導演Martin Lamb, 並隨著他探索了關於《能量秀》臺前幕後的故事。繼2013年倫敦科學博物館內首演後,《能量秀》還緊接著在英國進行了35家劇院的全國巡演。而現在,在2018年8月9日,《能量秀》搖身一變被改編成了中文版的《能量密室》,站在了中國的舞臺,為中國的孩子們帶去快樂。已經在北京保利劇院首演後的《能量密室》正於中國20個城市進行全國巡演中,演出將持續到12月3日。這個中文版的《能量密室》由Performance Infinity公司與北京精英集團合作制作,Martin Lamb改編劇本,在中國取得了巨大的成功。

《能量密室》- 照片来源北京精英集团 Sicence Detective Stage Photo

《能量密室》- 照片来源北京精英集团 Sicence Detective Stage Photo

In the 15th Issue, we focused on British theatre for the young and examined how theatre, creative practice, humanistic education and audience cultivation are interwoven organically. We also interviewed British Director Martin Lamb, whose self-directed and co-written production The Energy Show has transformed the London Science Museum into a magical and playful world infusing scientific experiments with children’s fun. After its debut in the London Science Museum in 2013, the production embarked on a national tour of 35 theatres in the UK. In 2018, The Energy Show was adapted for Chinese audiences. Under the name Science Detective, it has been bringing joy to young people in China. Having successfully premiered on the 9th of August at the Beijing Poly Theatre, the production is now touring 22 cities in China until 3 December, 2018. Produced by Performance Infinity, Beijing Elite Theatre Group and the core creative team of The Energy Show Martin Lamb and Janet Bird, Science Detective has been playing to packed houses and been received well by the Chinese media and audiences.

隨著中英文化交流推進,不同形式的文化藝術互動愈發頻繁,多元化趨勢也越來越強烈, 越來越多的像《能量密室》一樣的國際合作創作作品被搬上舞臺。今天我們采訪到《能量密室》的項目經理以及文學統籌丁玎,來談談國際聯合創作背後的故事。丁玎曾以項目經理以及助理導演的身份加入過多個大型國際聯合創作項目中,做出的劇目也廣受好評,其中包括英國皇家莎士比亞與廣州話劇藝術中心合作制作劇目《第十二夜》,觀眾評論為“既忠實嚴謹又創意無限,是在廣州看過的與中國文化結合的最完美的莎翁作品。”;英國導演Natasha Betteridge與廣州話劇藝術中心合作制作劇目《奧利安娜》,媒體評論為“充滿戲劇張力,讓我們看到了自己”;蘇格蘭舞蹈家Janis Claxton與中國山東省藝術研究院聯合創作舞蹈作品《花姑子》, 被媒體評論為”近年來濟南舞劇票房最高的作品“,並且該作品還於2017年12月12日在倫敦巡演.

Miss Ding Ding, the project manager and dramaturge of Science Detective

Miss Ding Ding, the project manager and dramaturge of Science Detective

Along with the rapid development of UK-China cultural exchanges, we can see greater diversity in the cultural exchange events, including interactions between different art forms and cooperation between various international artists, increasing the number of international collaboration theatre productions presented. Today, we interview Miss Ding Ding, who is the project manager and dramaturge of Science Detective, to discuss the story behind these international theatre cooperation projects. Ding has been engaged in multiple large-scale international theatre cooperation productions as a project manager and assistant director, all of which have been received well. Her work includes the theatre production of Twelfth Night, a joint production of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre. An audience member described it as “precise and creative, perfectly combining the production’s original flavour with Chinese culture, the best Shakespeare production I have seen in Guangzhou”. She was also involved in Oleanna, a co-production between British director Natasha Betteridge and the Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre, which the media described as “full of dramatic tension, enabled us to see ourselves”. The dance piece In Between, on which she worked with Scottish choreographer Janis Claxton and the Shandong Cultural and Art Research Centre, was praised by the media as being “the highest grossing dance piece in Jinan in recent years”. This production also made an appearance in London on the 12th of December, 2017.

 

ART.ZIP: 你開始做國際藝術家聯合創作項目的契機是什麽?
                    How did you get into the various international theatre cooperation productions projects initially?

丁玎:我非常喜歡戲劇,這可能是最大的原因,進入到一個“黑匣子”裏面,讓自己沈浸在別人的故事中,與來自不同文化背景的藝術家們交朋友,合作,一起講述有意思的故事,這一切都非常吸引我。我在英國讀完藝術管理的研究生後,在2014年成立了自己的公司Platform X. 並開始做國際戲劇巡演以及戲劇節策展項目。在工作中,我發現英國和中國戲劇產業之間的差距,這包括了創作環境、文化政策以及體制的不同,中國戲劇產業還很年輕, 在發展之中,劇院需要質量高的作品在中國的舞臺上演,創意團隊渴求外國優秀藝術家的經驗和新思維的碰撞,這些需求有著蓬勃戲劇產業的英國可以給予滿足。而反而言之,正因為中國戲劇行業在發展之中,其潛力也非常大,不停新建落成的劇院,迅速增長的觀眾數量也可以為國外藝術家們提供更廣的國際舞臺,面對更多新的觀眾群。認識到這一點後,我一直在想如果這中間多一點點紐帶一座座橋梁來填補空缺,就可以實現資源互補。漸漸地,我開始利用身邊資源為中國劇團以及藝術機構推薦英國藝術家與他們合作創作,也很幸運地開始加入很多大的中英聯合創作項目中。

Ding Ding: I love theatre, that’s, first of all, the biggest reason. Going into a “black box” to immerse myself in other people’s stories, make friends with like-minded artists worldwide, to share time together for months being creative in order to do storytelling based on different life experiences makes me feel very excited. After obtaining a master’s degree in Arts Management in the UK, in 2014, I founded a company named Platform X for doing international touring and theatre festival curating projects. At work, I found a gap between the theatre industries of Britain and China, and this gap exists in the creative environment, cultural policies and systems within the industries. The Chinese theatre industry is still young and developing, with lots of newly built theatre venues demanding high-quality theatre productions. Creative teams crave the experience of international artists, and mushrooming theatre audiences are thirsty for the collision of new ideas. In the UK, the theatre industry is flourishing. There are lots of talented artists who need broader international stages and new audiences. I was thinking that if there were bridges to help to fill the gap between, then the two countries could share resources and have the advantage of mutual aid. Step by step, I used a network to introduce British theatre artists to Chinese art organisations and started to take part in some large-scale international cooperative productions.

 

ART.ZIP: 你覺得戲劇聯合創作的重要性在哪裏?
                    What do you think the importance of this kind of cooperation?

丁玎:我覺得國際聯合創作不僅僅可以讓資源的互補,更是讓戲劇作品本身通過擁有不同文化背景和技能的藝術家們的合作和創作中激發出新的生命力。新的聲音,特別的角度以及多元的觀點。讓戲劇作品與這個變化中的世界聯系更加緊密,也讓觀眾更能找到共鳴。並且,聯合創作的過程也非常有趣,提供了國際藝術家互相了解和學習的機會,吸收不同的文化傳統,學習多樣的創作方式,分享經驗,這一切讓人非常興奮,也通過一起講故事更走近彼此。

Ding Ding: I think international cooperation productions not only enable resource sharing, but they also allow theatre productions to reveal new vitality through the cooperation among artists with various cultural backgrounds and skills. New voices, special perspectives, and diversified ideas enable theatre productions to more closely relate to this changing world and help audiences to find resonance. Also, the process of co-creation is very important and interesting as well. We get close to each other through storytelling and have real connections. The process offers international artists learning opportunities in terms of understanding each other, absorbing different cultural traditions, gathering various ways of telling stories and sharing experiences.

 

ART.ZIP: 你在國際聯合創作中的角色是什麽?
                    What’s your role exactly in international theatre cooperation productions?

丁玎:如果非要用一個統稱的話,我會叫我的角色為“橋梁“或是 “中間人”。而我這個“橋梁”負責的不僅是整個項目的管理協調,最重要的部分是參與到排練創作中,在不同的聯合創作作品中,我的角色會根據這個項目的性質決定,比如說舞蹈作品《花姑子》中,我的角色是編劇,負責原故事的二度創作,如何分解故事讓其更適宜用現代舞的方式來講述。而在一些其他的戲劇作品中,我的角色則是助理導演。

Ding Ding: If I have to use a general term, I will define my role as being a “bridge”. Besides the management and coordination of the whole project, as the “bridge”, my most important responsibility is to take part in rehearsals and creation processes. In detail, my role varies in different projects depending on the nature of the project. For example, in the dance piece In Between, my role as dramaturge makes me responsible mainly for adapting and shaping the story. While, in some other theatre productions, my role is the assistant director.

 

ART.ZIP:  那麽能著重說說你在《能量密室》中的角色麽?
                     Can you explain to us your role in Science Detective?

丁玎: 在《能量密室》中我的角色除了是項目經理,也是文學統籌。當我的合作夥伴Joanna Dong和我在倫敦科學博物館看到這個兒童劇後,我們對於這種通過通過聽故事的方式在歡笑中獲取科學知識的作品感到非常精細,決定將這個作品也能搬到中國的舞臺,讓中國的年輕人去分享這份歡樂。我們用了半年的時間來準備籌備這個項目,我負責項目的聯系溝通與相關機構開會,直到項目立項,我們又用了另外約半年的時間去將這個作品改編為中文版,與藝術家們去國內采風,訪問了當地科學博物館,小學以及巡演場地。也見了演員並且與科學團隊做了相關實驗。在精打細磨中將劇本最終改編成了適合中國演出的版本,並最終登上了中國的舞臺。

Ding Ding: In Science Detective, I am not only the project manager, but also the dramaturge. When my business partner Joanna Dong and I saw The Energy Show in London, we were amazed by how fusing science with storytelling could ignite children’s passions for the subject. We decided to bring it back to China to enable the young Chinese audiences to share the joy. After over half a years’ preparation, we communicate and had meetings with related parties, the project was set up. Then we used another half a year to adapt the play to the Chinese version. I went on several research trips with the writer Martin and the set designer Janet to China, during which we visited local science museums, primary schools and touring venues, did auditions and conducted experiments at the Beijing Institute of Technology and, together, we adapted the script and translated it to Mandarin. Finally, after a year’s effort, the play debuted on China’s stages.

 

ART.ZIP: 你覺得聯合創作會遇到什麽挑戰?
                    What challenges have you met when doing international cooperation productions?

丁玎:首先克服雙方的語言問題,戲劇也可以說是一門語言藝術,在排練創作過程中做翻譯,而排練中的翻譯不僅僅是對語言上的要求,更是需要有豐富的舞臺經驗,專業知識和對劇本的理解力才能適應排練的快節奏並且準確進行溝通。其次由於兩國戲劇行業發展程度的不同,兩國戲劇從業者有著非常不同的工作方式,對一些職位責任的定義也有差異。我這個“橋梁“會保證創意團隊之間以有一個順暢溝通為前提,提出自己的建議以讓雙方充分理解對方工作方式,比如中國主創團隊例如設計,包括演員,有的時候比較習慣於聽從導演的想法,而很少給出自己的創意,我會讓導演首先了解到這個差異,然後在準確的時間點根據導演的習慣幫助導演去啟發創意團隊,讓他們在表達導演意圖的前提下充分發回主動性,找到自己的旅程。最後,當一個國際合作作品在中國落地時,我覺得最明顯的一個挑戰是文化的差異,很容易讓作品“水土不服”,讓當地觀眾找不到共鳴。我在創作中,會與創作團隊一起在細節、劇情、情感的表現上進行修改,讓作品更為符合中國觀眾的審美習慣。

Ding Ding: First of all, the obvious problem is that we have to overcome the language barrier. Interpretations during rehearsals not only require being a master of words but also having abundant stage experience and a good understanding of the script. Secondly, the two countries’ theatre people have very different working methods and also differ in the definition of the responsibilities of some jobs. I, as a “bridge”, will try to help the creative teams communicate smoothly and put forward my own suggestions so that both parties can fully understand each other. For example, Chinese creative teams including designers and actors who are sometimes accustomed to following the director’s ideas and seldom voicing their own thinking, I will help the foreign director first understand the difference, and then, according to the director’s habits, help inspire the creative team, enabling them to feel comfortable to fully exert their own initiatives, to better express the director’s intentions. Moreover, the most obvious challenge I found is cultural differences. A work can become “un-acclimated” when an international cooperation production is implemented in China, and it may be difficult for it to resonate with local audiences. Thus, during the creative process, I will work with the team to adjust scenarios, details and emotional expressions to make the production more in line with the aesthetic habits of Chinese audiences.

 

ART.ZIP: 你能就這些挑戰舉個具體例子麽?
                    Can you give us an example of the challenge you’ve met when you are doing collaboration productions?

丁玎:比如說當我們在創作《奧利安娜》時,作品由美國作家大衛·馬梅創作於20世紀90年代美國。作品非常的復雜,在解讀劇本時不能僅僅著眼於其表層意義,而是要建立在作者構建的語境以及當時環境背景的基礎上來理解。這個項目所帶來的挑戰就在於怎樣讓創作團隊以及中國的觀眾進入到這個語境,怎樣去調整演員的狀態。所以在我做這個項目的助理導演的時候,我們對當時的美國教育制度,語言的誤用和濫用以及政治正確性做了大量的調查研究,並做了大量的練習,結合了中國的現當代的社會環境背景去調整演員狀態。
還有一個例子,就是在《第十二夜》的排練中,怎樣讓觀眾們感受到原汁原味的莎士比亞的同時又能真正地理解這個作品就變成了最大的挑戰。在排練中,我們像是在扮演“偵探”與演員們一句句的分小節找細節,並且在這個過程中我會根據坐排情況對劇本進行再潤色和本土化的修改。在作品下地排練後,我們會在覺得中國觀眾無法理解的雙關語、笑話以及文化傳統上提出修改意見。再例如對於演員的訓練,我們專門開展了對莎士比亞詩韻文的工作坊,也在排練過程中保留了莎劇詩韻文朗讀節奏及呼吸方式。

Ding Ding: When we are doing Oleanna with a script written by David Mamet in 1990s in America, the understanding of this production’s subject cannot be based solely on its words in the script, but must also be interpreted according to the context the writer constructed and the social environment. The challenge of this production is how to make the creative team and Chinese audiences enter this context and how to adjust actors’ performing states. In view of this, we conducted lots of research on the American education system at that time, misuses and abuses of language, political correctness. We also did lots of practice to adjust the actors’ states in combination with the contemporary social context of China. Another example is when we are doing the Twelfth Night. How to make the audiences in China get a touch of Shakespeare and at the same time understand his work became the biggest challenge. During the rehearsal, we act like “detectives” to analysis the script beat-by-beat, the actors will use their own words and understanding to interpret the lines and I will retouch and localize the script according to the practical situations arising during this process. Also, we made changes to the puns and jokes to customize them to Chinese cultural tradition. What’s more, we did workshops for training the actors in order for them to understand the unique Shakespearean-style language. We also retained the rhythm and breathing pattern of reading verse during the rehearsals, in order to keep the author’s “original intention”.

 

ART.ZIP: 你覺得國際聯合創作會有怎樣的未來?
                    What do you think about the future of international theatre cooperation productions?

丁玎:我覺得國際聯合創作會成為未來戲劇文化交流的主要發展趨勢。我們現在已經在籌備明年的幾個國際聯合創作項目了,這包括了一些舞蹈作品以及話劇作品。並且我也在籌備導演自己的兒童劇作品,集結中英兩國的藝術家一起去制作講述中國民間通話故事系列。

Ding Ding: I think it will be the main trend for theatre exchange projects in the future. We are preparing several international theatre cooperation projects for launching next year, including dance pieces and theatre productions. Also, I am making preparations for directing my own children’s play, bringing together artists from China and the UK to tell a series of stories from Chinese folk fairy tales.