Hoffmann, Hoffmann. Hoffmann all day, Hoffmann all night. But… it’s nearly done. From a 90 minute long ballet, it has become a full-length two hour piece. Jo nearly drove me nuts with all the requests on the music, speeding up, slowing down, extending, shortening, cutting, editing, removing, adding, pasting, deleting, changing, rewriting… At some point, I was on the verge of calling it quit and fly to the next iceberg and sink with it.
Jo has been pacing the scenes together this week and we begin to see the whole picture. He, more than I, since I have no idea what the choreography is like, what the costumes or the set design will be.
As I was reading some literature about E.T.A. Hoffmann, his tales and Offenbach’s opera, I realized how the whole project is reflecting my current state and questions in life. It is even more fascinating to see this game of mirrors between my life, Jo’s life, Isabelle’s life; how everything is intertwined between the new piece we are now creating, how it finds echoes in Offenbach’s opera and E.T.A. Hoffman’s tales, the life and experience they transcended in their work. It’s nothing new. The same story has been repeated, reproduced, snake-eyed for ages. I still find it riveting. In this particular case reality and creation are becoming one. My life is indeed my creation and my own theatre. I see so much of Jo’s life in this piece as I did when we did PLAY 2 PLAY. The signs I get from Hoffman’s tales show me a possible direction my life may take. As for Hoffmann, I have to choose between art and a happy domestic life. Are the two so incompatible? That is a big question for which I see no answer. Isabelle says that I should visualize a partner whom I would look up to, someone who would be my equal as well as my inspiration. My love affairs so far have been whether short-lived or excessively passionate and destructive. I have no regret for anything. Like Hoffmann, I was composing the image of the perfect partner, always pushing it further and further. The eternal story of the eternal quest, Lancelot or Le Grand Maulnes. Am I truly willing to find that person? Or is this a life force I need, to keep myself moving forward? Those hundreds of lovers have showed me hundreds aspects of life.