Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power - Sceniske variasjoner over et tema

Premiére date26 Feb. 2001
Produced byTore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret Bergen
Running period26 Feb. 2001  

About Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power

Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power by Tore Vagn Lid/Transiteatret-Bergen sprang scenically out from the so-called new economy’s language and sphere of reality. Through fixating on physical gestures, rhetoric figures, patterns of action and attitude, the theatre was transformed to a dynamic arena for dissecting confrontation.

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More about Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power

The main character in Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power is by far a language. Not just understood as the economy’s ‘rollouts’ and ‘crusades’, the consultants and the managers’ efficiency-improvement, rationalisation and increased flexibility, but a language including manners of speech, bodily attitudes and musicality of sentences. "The Anatomy of Power" is the anatomy of the language, from BI Norwegian School of Management, Geelmuyden and Kiese, from the business newspapers Dagens Næringsliv and Økonomisk Rapport one can in the search for the New Economy trace a new category of poetry; a linguistic landscape the art has yet to make its own. ‘Our switches are measurable until the eternal’ it is yelled from one side, with seriousness and empathy long surpassing what the theatre stage can provide. ‘What we experience now is an extreme crusade’ another side answers. Now as in the romantic age’s onomatopoetically painting nature poetry a beautiful landscape is stretching out, the mission is accomplished, the horizon is idyllic. 'The Ice Age is over, sun, flowers and warmth', an economic magazine notes in the editor’s commentary, celebrating the corrosion of the welfare state’s collective ‘use of force’ in the name of individual freedom. But behind the glossy pictures of flexibility, efficiency and innovation a steadily stronger arbitrariness is camouflaged. On the one hand, the New Economy surrounds itself with humanist ideals such as increased production of values, rationality and freedom to choose for oneself. On the other it seems to surrender the human and the fundamental human relationships to the economic ideal of profit and its ice cold calculations.

This is why the play had chosen the contradiction – or the oxymoron – as its focal point. The question of form became a question of purpose. The hope was to present fundamental social terms, not so much down to individuals as to reveal mutual characteristics, patterns of action and attitudes. Rather than analysing the individual characters and their natural development, Opus 1. The Anatomy of Power sought to regard the role figures as societal roles, the individual character as comprehensive character features and the conflicts between them as societal conflict patterns.

From the director’s point of view it became significant to express the arbitrariness, the shifts and the unpredictability in the wake of the New Economy through the choice of theatre expression. For this reason there was no singular story in Opus 1. The Anatomy of power. The story was replaced by the cut and the natural line had to surrender to the fragment. However, the nine stage images were closely related. Inspired by the classical music’s variations over a theme my fundamental idea was to borrow from the music to the theatre stage.

The opening stage image presented a ‘theme’, and the following stage images responded with their ‘variations’. Fundamental was an ambition to explore: From different angles and utilising different effects to pursue and illuminate a single subject of linguistic, corporal or circumstantial sort. A subject perhaps regarded as familiar and unproblematic at first glance.

In a situation in which empathy was a selling good, honesty a sale strategy and the ideal of freedom a simultaneous request to suppress one’s fellow humans, the hope was that the theatre in this manner – if humble – could contribute to presentation and critic.


Transiteatret-Bergen, transiteatret.com, 01.08.2010, http://www.transiteatret.com/maktensanatomi.html