Message from MIMIC Co-Creators Kimberley Cooper & Peter Balkwill
It feels like we have been talking about this show for some time. Kim was always going to Old Trout shows and noticing how the performers were in a state of dance connected with the puppets, and Pete has been sneaking into the tap classes at DJD for years trying to quench his desire to be a professional dancer–to be able to move in ways that defy the gravity that restricts our ascent toward our true-celestial-selves.
As we talked through what was possible we began to notice how we jumped about as suggestions became exciting, how we grabbed at the nearest object to help us articulate a thought so grand that words alone could not convey our emotional state of mind connected to the idea.
At this point it dawned on us that puppetry and dance must surely be the root of human language, that at some point in the history of human community we didn’t use words to communicate, instead we danced and stamped our grubby feet upon the sodden earth of our dank caves, wildly gesticulating with oddly shaped rocks that resembled the great fearful beasts that we heroically brought down.
Something important to most people is to be heard and understood as individuals with original thoughts or ideas that identify us as singular creatures. But puppetry and dance are only representations of something real and in many ways are connected to our unstoppable urge to mimic the world around us. We began to understand the nature of mimicry as a foundation of how we see ourselves in relationship to the natural world. But humans have always strived to elevate themselves above the natural world, which is ironic—we imitate that which we look to separate ourselves from.
When our designer Natalie joined the party, she suggested that this was something that artists were pushing against in the Romantic Period, that through the advancement of science there was a desire to return to the simplistic, albeit violent reality of nature. We began to see our lives as a paradox between the primitive need to hunt and kill something beautiful, to feed our visceral bodies with food, and that of a desire to be more sophisticated, to serve our lofty thoughts and rise above the primal urges of our natural roots.
It’s been a crazy ride and we have come a long way now that we can text around the world and look at each other as we connect on our handy mobile devices, but we must always ask ourselves the big question—have we really come so far from our humble beginnings?
We hope you enjoy the show.
Kim and Pete