and a Brief History Before the End of an Era
This page updated October 15th, 2019.
Artistic Director & Paratheatre Training
Between 1970 and 1977, Antero performed and taught Mime Theatre (trained by Keith Berger of the American Mime Theatre, NYC). In 1977, he encountered the Paratheatre of Jerzy Grotowski inspiring him to develop his own paratheatre medium -- documented in his book, "Towards an Archeology of the Soul" (Vertical Pool, 2003), in numerous video documents (1991-2018), and by Nicoletta Isar, Professor at the Institute of Art History, Copenhagen University. Between 1975 and 2005, Antero wrote, directed, and performed in numerous experimental theatre productions. Between 2005 and 2015, Antero stopped creating theatre to write and direct a series of feature-length art films -- including "The Greater Circulation", a critically acclaimed cinematic treatment of poet Rainer Maria Rilke's "Requiem for a Friend" and "The Invisible Forest", a tribute to French Surrealist, Antonin Artaud. During this filmmaking era, his group paratheatre work went underground for ten years in a series of private, non-performance oriented ritual labs. In 2015, he took a break from filmmaking and between 2016 and 2018, he and his wife, the performer/singer Sylvi Alli, staged five original intermedia works of ritual-based physical theatre in Portland Oregon. In late 2019, he stopped all Paratheatre work and returned to making films and creating music with Sylvi as bird&wolf.
PERFORMANCE & PRODUCTION HISTORY
Music Director & Voice Training
After extensive training in classical piano, Sylvi turned to painting and between 1976-93, her art was shown in galleries in the U.S. and Europe. In 1989, she began her journey into ambient/industrial electronic music and in 1995, she started singing. These elements soon combined in the development of soundtracks for dance, theatre and cinema projects. Sylvi has scored the songs and music for most of Antero's films & theatre since 1989. In 1996, she starred in "Lily in Limbo", a 27-minute poetry film. Her music CDs include "Too Near the Ghosts", "Dream of the Blue Moth", "Under a Shipwrecked Moon", "A Hundred Birds", "Vessel", "Flamingos" and "The Book of Jane". She has acted in many of her husband's films and performed in their paratheatrical productions. Her deep background in ParaTheatre (since 1996) has informed her unique "embodied voice" approach to singing through movement. She served as the Music Director and Vocal Instructor for ParaTheatrical ReSearch PDX between 2016 and 2019.
SYLVI'S MUSIC CDS
MUSIC ON SOUNDCLOUD
SYLVI on "EMBODIED VOICE" work
~ A Brief History before the End of an Era ~
Seattle WA and Berkeley CA; 1988-2015
Seattle WA; 1988-1996. Eleven years after its 1977 genesis in Berkeley CA, I continued my paratheatrical research in Seattle, directing and producing four performance ritual works, ("Crossing the Water", "Animamundi", "Requiem for a Friend", and "Mass of the Iconoclasts") plus two video documents ("Archaic Community" and "Requiem for a Friend" by the poet Rilke) and a series of non-performance ritual Labs. (Click this for paratheatrical processes and theatre projects produced between 1975 and 1983 in Berkeley, Carmel, Petaluma, and Mendocino CA).
Berkeley CA; 1998-2015. Over the next eighteen years, Sylvi joined me in a series of non-performance Labs (8-10 week workshops) where the fundamental methods of this medium were applied and tested many, many times over. Throughout this primarily private period, three paratheatre video documents were produced ("Crux" 1999; "Orphans of Delirium" 2004; "dreambody/earthbody" 2012), along with four public performance works ("Hungry Ghosts of Albion" 1999; "Orphans of Delirium" 2004; "Songs as Vehicles" 2004; "Requiem For a Friend" 2005). This 18-year era established a rich foundation for future Paratheatre work as a performative vehicle after we relocated to Portland, Oregon in late 2015.
Portland OR; ritual-based physical theatre.
Portland OR; performance. Soon after arriving, we presented two non-performance training Labs that magnetized a small core group motivated towards performance. Between December 2016 and December 2018, this group morphed (new members joined, some dropped out) through five separate intermedia physical theatre works staged at PerformanceWorks NW. Each of these productions were preceded by a 10-week workshop (Lab) where the productions were developed combining ritual dynamics, vocal incantations, improvised and composed music & songs, film, and great poetry to explore the metaphysical and symbolic dimensions of human experience. We didn't do social or political or morality issues or themes, nor did we perform conventional stage plays. Our aim was always to incite visceral and spiritual resonances in the audience to arouse the Poetic Imagination from its deep cultural slumber.
The Portland productions, 2016-2018. Our debut, "A Turbulence of Muses" a symbolist ritual (poetry by Arthur Rimbaud) workshopped over ten weeks that premiered December 2-4, 2016. In the "2-Faced Clowns Lab", we explored personal and collective hypocrisy as a foundation for the extreme characters featured in "Bardoville" (poetry by Charles Bukowski) with vocal creations by Sylvi Alli and E.V.E. (premiered May 12-14 of 2017 to critical acclaim from Oregon ArtsWatch). Our Dec 1-3, 2017 production, "Soror Mystica: Ritual Invocation of the Anima" (poetry by Hilda Doolittle) was developed during the Alchemy Lab. Music was improvised on site by Sylvi ("Soror Mystica" also earned critical acclaim from Oregon ArtsWatch). Our next production, "Fallen Monsters" (poetry by William Blake), evolved in the Contract Lab before its May 11-13, 2018 premiere. Our fifth and final production, "Escape from Chapel Perilous!" (poetry by Sylvia Plath) came together during the Labyrinth Lab and premiered November 29th, 30th, Dec. 1 & 2, 2018.
CLICK THIS to watch video documents of our past five productions
and other videos of paratheatrical processes
end of an era
In early 2019, Sylvi and I chose to bypass our usual May production schedule to focus on elevating paratheatre craft in two private, non-performance ritual labs -- starting March 10th with the 8 week Dreaming Ritual Lab and then over the summer of 2019, in the 8-week Muses Lab. Sometime in July, I realized the talent and skill levels in our current group could no longer meet the demands of future paratheatrical productions. We went as far as we could go without repeating ourselves or rehashing what we already knew how to do. All productions, "Labs" and weekend intensives were discontinued after September 22nd, 2019; it felt like the right thing to do.
Though my group Paratheatre Lab facilitation and paratheatrical productions have ended, it does not mark the end of the work itself. This paratheatre medium can be experienced and developed by anyone willing to experiment with its many trigger methods. The numerous Paratheatre video documents produced between 1991 and 2018 are also available (for free online), offering vivid examples of this work in non-performance and performance modalities. My paratheatre workbook, "Towards an Archeology of the Soul", remains available for purchase. Click this for tips and guidelines on Paratheatre Lab facilitation.
In the wake of this major change, Sylvi and I have redirected our talents, passions, and skills into recording and performing our music and developing new works of cinema. We are currently in pre-production for our docufiction film, "The Vanishing Field" with a projected premiere in the Spring of 2020 in Portland (all future projects posted at Vertical Pool). We remain deeply grateful to those who joined us (we know who we are) on this epic journey through an extraordinary 42-year era of paratheatrical research.
back to no-form,
- Antero and Sylvi Alli
October 15th, 2019. Portland OR.
Antero Alli at: email@example.com
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