Circo de Nada presents Idiopathic, a new experimental work by Nick Trotter. Fusing the dramatic territories of Clown and Tragedy, this gut-wrenching piece of physical theatre explores the liminal state between balance and falling, and the consequences of the human heart’s choice between the two.
Arising from Trotter’s own experience with addiction, anxiety and insomnia, Idiopathic is a hallucinatory vision of a life whose purpose and meaning have eroded from within, and whose stability has become simply impossible.
The title is a term used by doctors and scientists to identify diseases or conditions that they can’t explain: the literal translation from classical Greek is “self-caused.” It’s an assertion of nonsense, a surrender to absurdity in the face of our own ignorance and misunderstanding. Idiopathic explores the emotional condition of cycles, of actions that apparently have no beginning—and no end. If we don’t know how we get into these cycles, how can we find out way out? Is there a way out at all? Or is our condition congenital: is our Self, in fact, the cause?
The player is presented in a fractured vision of the Clown, with a red nose and the wreckage of whiteface. Clowns are often maligned as fake and trite, or as blandly “scary”. But they have the potential to illuminate the extreme difficulties of the human condition with humor and poetry. By offering themselves up for public humiliation, they can turn degradation inside out and produce empathy.
The music for the show, partly composed and partly improvised, is a collaboration between Nick Trotter and Saladin Thomas, who will be performing live during this production. The instruments are circular saw blades, rusted brake drums, sheet metal and other found objects and noisemakers. This junk: broken, corroded, and used against the intentions that created it, replaces the notion of charming harmonies and melodies with the sound of what is cast off from human activity, and is therefore an echo of real human experience. [Organizer's description]