Don't Be Afraid of Cristina Maldonado

I am never going to a show to be abused, and I strongly believe that most audience members are with me on this one. This is am older argument I am having with performance-makers, whom I encourage on this occasion again to offer if not entertainment, at least something positive. Have mercy on your audience, they most probably have already had a tough day in the office. To this I add that I am scared of one-on-one and participative performances. I do not like leaving my comfort zone offered by my seat in the audience, I do not want to be in the spot light, and in the words of a friend "I am sporting emotional difficulties in the interrelating area".

These being said, you can imagine I was in no hurry to sign up for The Stranger Gets a Gift Service – Interruptor (Czech Republic), performance-installation experienced by one User at a time (45 minutes). However, faith decided otherwise, and I met Cristina Maldonado in person one night before the show. And she totally won me over with her open personality, she proved to be a decent human being, and I decided then and there I have no reason to be afraid of her show.

It resembles Cristina very much: it is open, it is nice, and there is no reason to be afraid of it. Imagine two clean slates, they are projected one on top of the other as the only channel of communication between two people. You can do anything, you can create, you can try to communicate. You can try to find out things about the other person, you can tell something about yourself, you can choreograph an interaction with the other person. Afterwards, it is an opportunity to reflect on what it means not to be able to use one of your senses, there is no hearing, how restriction can influence your creative process or your communication, and, finally, to what extent you are structured for collaboration. At this very moment, Cristina's performance is booked solid to the last day of #ReDance, so I can only say I am happy for all the people that had the guts to try her game and wish them a meaningful interaction, the kind that I experienced. Thank you, Cristina.


a text by Dany Kozak