Walk the Talk - Interactive Improv Art

What a delightful concept! This show has an array of talented artists from dancers to musicians to actors and more. Each tent provides the participant with a unique experience of sharing with a group their life experiences. The artists then perform an improvised performance in their métier based on what the participants shared. I had the opportunity to meet with 4 performers in 3 separate tents: Yukari Komatsu, John Park and Miho Suzuki, and lastly Zachary Ibrahim.

As two other ladies and I were ushered into the first tent I noticed just how peaceful everyone was. It really gave you the feeling that you wanted to share with people. No walls, no expectations, just acceptance and gratitude that you are there to share with them.

Komatsu was the first person we saw. As we handed her our card, we noticed that other than the tent number on it, it also had the word ‘past’ on it. Komatsu explained that because of this, we’d be talking about the past in this tent. Not only that but she had us pick from a pile of cards and play a memory-like game to choose the topic. Truly each and every experience would be totally different and randomized.

Komatsu played on a stringed instrument of sorts and sang a song. Being a piano teacher myself, I could read the music that she was reading off of, which was composed specifically for this exercise. She was not playing note for note but rather using the music as a point of inspiration to improvise upon.  She sang 2 songs, one on fear and the other about surprise. The first one was very reminiscent of fear but the ‘surprise’ song I didn’t find differed too much from the first.

We were then escorted to the second tent that harbored the dancer and Shakuhachi Flute player duo, Park and Suzuki. These two were by far my favorite of the three. Here we shared our present life experiences and joys. Suzuki managed to find a common thread in everything that we shared and performed a stunning dance about the artfulness of autumn. Her lines and flexibility were exquisite and were perfectly accompanied by Park’s soothing flute music.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of meeting Ibrahim. Our card for his tent said past and so he shared with us an unbelievably serendipitous story of reconnection with his family half way around the globe. He wrote a letter with our help to his newly found mother. I didn’t quite understand the letter as it seemed like he was trying to incorporate our experiences into his story that didn’t quite fit. His story was beautiful though, and we left with glowing hearts fueled by this rare, randomly inspirational display.

I felt a little disappointed as I left because I could see that there were other tents that we didn’t get to see. I would love to return to see the others, should the opportunity arise.  I felt like a child that had just stepped into a fairy gypsy land. I had a hunger to explore and get lost in this world, but alas my time was up, so I settled for playing some of the random instruments they had lying around such as a cute little spacedrum-like instrument and wooden frogs.

By Julia Fox