From The Rehearsal Room

We sat down with Common Ground performers Richard Cilli & Tara Jade Samaya to hear about their thoughts on where we find Common Ground. 

Firstly, what does Common Ground mean to you and amongst it all, where do we find Common Ground?

Richard: I think it’s a timely piece because it feels like in the world the stakes are so high at the moment and this is a response to that saying we might seem very different but we’re all very similar, we all cry. We all

Tara: We all shit.

Richard: Yeah we all shit. We all die.

Tara: We’re all born.

Richard: We’re all dancing. I guess therein lies the really obvious thing that we don’t see, that we’re all really similar despite the differences that we try to highlight all the time.

Tara: Maybe we’ll see it more when we’re kind of like invaded by an Alien race. We’ll all stand together and be like well, maybe we should unite… 

When we have true compassion and empathy for someone else’s state of being and for it to be like endless and equal and continually ever impermanent, I feel like that’s Common Ground. If we can find it.

I also find that it could be holding space, for someone else’s belief, even if they are not your own. Its like in the bible do unto others, that’s an example of it and sharing.

Richard: I think recognising that we do share a ground that we’re not on different territory. That no matter how far apart we may be from another person or another entity, that separateness from them is an illusion or a construction that we have put there in place, that’s not inherent we only choose to believe that. We can find Common Ground anywhere.

What themes are explored in Common Ground and how does it appear in your work?  

Tara: Power relationships. The power to be in be in a relationship, the connection in that and the freedom to be free of it. The masculine and feminine roles within that. The ballet as a hierarchical form of elevation above. Transcending above something. What else without giving everything away?

Richard: I think the overarching theme is duality. Looking at duality between two individuals Tara and Richard and also duality between two nations, two politicians, and also how we got to this point? For things, you know movement, dance, or politics to mean what it does today? Peeling back layers and looking back in history of a time when dance meant a different thing than it does today, it had a different role in society. I mean now it is largely a form of entertainment where in the past it was a way of forming community bonds or even communicating with the spiritual.

Tara: Ecstatic experience, it was even beyond spectacle, it was experiential, it changed and then it became a spectator thing like a sport or a game.  

Richard: Yeah, it seems like there is two sort of major themes, the history of dance as a metaphor for the world and duality, two people as a metaphor for the world in every sense.

Do you see yourself as adopting characters for the piece or do you see yourself as just being yourself as a performer in the work?

Tara: I see two things. One thing that the environment changes beyond what is seen, so we take people into another dimension, which is myself I guess. So the blank, the person Tara, and then I become a kind of blank canvas Tara where I think I take on ideologies of other people.

Richard: I definitely don’t think I take on a character. I’m me. Sometimes I’m me expressing a concept, or being me Richard Cilli using my body to communicate an abstract concept. Sometimes I’m Richard, dancing pretending to be a pineapple, sometimes I’m dancing being a…  

Tara: A rhetorical question.

Richard: Or Donald Trump. So there are moments of taking on caricatures, but ultimately I’m sharing myself in real time with the audience and Tara.

Tara: We play ourselves playing others I guess.

Common Ground is presented at Chunky Move Studio from 26 April – 5 May. Book now here.