Centre Stage by faruk kara
Faruk Kara is a Cambridge based documentary photographer interested in performance. Whether a staged play, dance, musical rendition or concert, he aims to capture moments that are representative images in a much bigger “picture”. This might be seen as a dichotomy; after all, documentary photography is based on capturing moments as one finds them. Kara adheres to this principle, none of his work is posed or lit differently to how it is in the performance or rehearsal. This is fundamental to his work (capturing art as Art is the challenge). While the purpose of his work is documentary, it is also to be used for promotion, editorial and, as here, exhibition.
The images shown at Espresso Library are the culmination of three shows (Daphnis and Chloe (Offenbach), The Hiding Tree (Barnes), The Little Sweep (Britten)) working with the Cambridge Youth Opera attending rehearsals, dress rehearsals and performances.
About Daphnis & Chloe production:
For this production of Offenbach’s Daphnis and Chloe, the story of ancient Greek shepherds, Bacchantes and the god Pan masquerading as a statue, is shifted to Cambridge in 1910. The young lovers meet on Grantchester Meadows. The Bacchantes are transformed into the Cambridge Isadorables, an amateur dance group, following the great Isadora Duncan. The orchestra becomes a local ensemble, rehearsing out of doors under the watchful eye of the vicar of Grantchester. Only Pan remains in his original role.
This setting gives the opportunity to explore the dynamics of Edwardian society at a time when traditional mores were still in place, but when girls were beginning to push boundaries, abandoning corsets for more comfortable, ‘rational dress’, educating themselves, taking part in sports and using their bicycles to get away from the restrictions of home and family. Nowhere is this new freedom more strongly expressed than among the Isadorables, exploring their creativity while making a radical statement about their place in the world.
About The Hiding Tree production:
Starting out in the children’s schoolroom in the 1810 setting of The Little Sweep, Barnes’ The Hiding Tree takes life as a story told by governess Rowan to the children in her charge. Gradually the story of the two sisters bravery in overcoming the Monster who decimates their island takes over the stage. Alternately funny, dark and dramatic, the opera captures the imagination of participants and audience alike.
About The Little Sweep production:
In deliberate contrast, The Little Sweep, tells a simple story in clean lines, set back in the schoolroom. Here the monsters are human, the cruel sweeps who force Sammy up the chimney where he gets stuck. He is rescued from this terrible fate by the kindness and enthusiasm of the children and Rowan, their young governess. The Finale incorporates the whole audience, just as Britten intended.