We met Lisa Dressler, the tour manager for the D Tour of the project, on the Hoppet.
Lisa welcomes us on board.
A really nice discussion, a really interesting person.
What should people follow this project? What element makes it unique?
I feel that most people finding us, most people are really curious. Usually, they come to visit the boat, it is so beautiful, and suddenly there is so much more going on! I think that this project, in its structure, is very unique. I may have read things like this but never experienced or seen a project like this, where you really cross borders by having a life and a work at the same time on a boat…
When you cross those borders of working and living together, you feel it very strongly! It makes a huge difference when you have worked together and then go work on board, suddenly things change. That’s one border this project crosses and the other is the visible, or invisible, country border. You just sail with the boat, without feeling it because there is no visible boarder, if you cross, especially in the sea. You feel that something changes: not only the language but also how people approach you…
Do we go closer to one another? Do we leave our personal borders?
It’s quite optimistic, (laughing…), I would say, it’s more about finding where our borders are and to respect them. You can’t change the language of people, when you can’t communicate with people, when they don’t speak your language and you don’t speak theirs, it can be frustrating.
So you come close to boarders that are really touchable. Also in between working progress, when you find out that, there is no way to work with a certain person or partners, whatever happens you actually understand that those borders exist. Some boarders you can’t cross. You can work on them but, for me, the most important thing is to be aware of these boarders and to cross, make them fall down as much as you can. But also accept that there are certain borders that cant fall… For me it’s important to stay respectful with every person that comes close to you, accept differences and try to find a good point to work or live or communicate with.
So this French tour how did it go?
Your impression? Feelings?
At first, really happy to have ground under the feet, after two days of very stressful navigation! First thing to do is to buy some croissants and have a beautiful breakfast (laughing…), first moment in France, really beautiful!
I am really impressed by the frame program that Réseau en Scène set up. I feel that there are a lot of things going on and, for me, this is the most important. The tour is important too, of course, but the shows don’t make so much sense if you don’t spread it to the audience, if you don’t take care that all the people get involved by heart, and that’s what happening here.
By inviting people on board you feel this very personal response. People ask you about the your history, your reasons to join the project and they get very curious about what is going on the boat and the project. For me that’s the right way to do this, to invite the people, give them reasons to come: by organising local cooperation’s like in the carpentry workshop we did. The hosting artist came to us, asking to do some readings, he got to know the project and he was willing to participate in. That’s the way to open up and invite others even do little sailings with us. This project is not just about having artistic stage but also to talk with people and make them aware of what we are talking about: the refuges struggle, make people talk personally.
So you find it essential that the project treats modern issues?
Human issues, yes…
That is my personal view. Every partner, every single person has his personal motivation to participate to this project. For me the most important is exactly this. Touch certain issues that are raising in Europe right now and are connected with refugee struggle, how to deal with strangers, how to deal when you are not able to understand a language, a person man or woman. It is matter of humanity. It is important to have a subject, like Instants do, to concentrate on but for me it is important to keep, raise this question of humanity: how to deal with people.
So it’s like a pretext to talk about a wider idea?
Not only a pretext, it’s below every question. You have an issue, you start from a certain point and for me, in this project, it is: the humanity. Understand other people, be aware of the reasons to leave a country, to escape home, to treat people differently. We talk about this during the show by inviting people, telling about our life. Try to understand: what do the partners need? what do the artists need? It creates a language fusion and international connexion. Now I know how to organise, take care of a show in France for example.
Then this project is also an important advantage for your professional life too?
Of course (laughing…)
It goes together: we learn in every occasion, even if you only think of your personal professional improvement this is very closely connected to your personal improvement.
Practice your French to learn some sentences in Italian, is something I could need for future projects. At the first point is my personal improvement and to get to know a lot of people, creating this new connection between international theatres, it’s an advantage for the professional life but I also get to know them personally.
If you had to describe this adventure with one word, what would it be?
You accept that things are not going well, mistakes happen but you have to trust each other, otherwise you can’s go through this. What is the first thing I learnt, to accept to get lost, to make mistakes but trust each other.
It’s so sweet (laughing…)
Thank you (laughing…) It’s not only sweet, it’s true. It is! When you organise it’s so hard to let go, because you are so used to do it your way, then you go to another place to work you say:
My way doesn’t work, maybe for good reasons!
So you have to trust blindly.
I don’t know you, I don’t know what language you speak but you can do it, I trust you.
Such a positive message: trust. Even for the next year’s tour!
Yeah, trust each other!