“Engaging in terms of physicality, emotions and music, feel the enjoyment of the cast and the frustration of life”

These are the few keywords that I recall writing the questionnaire right after the performance. The play has no story, very few lines, and a lot of movement, yet it strikes your senses, challenges your sensibility and overthrows your life routine. What makes it so overwhelming? Perhaps I could share a few of my observation here.

First, I tried to use my “conventional” way to interpret the “language” of the play but I failed. The play began with the “three sisters” suggestive daily movement, which implied they were doing daily activity such as cooking, cleaning, and other household duties. And yet, these movements were in intensive and highly energetic form which cast a strong contrast to the activities they were presenting. I used the word “suggestive” is because its intention was clearly not to take our daily life as elements into sublimation like we used to see in contemporary dance, rather it was an exaggerated representation of life with artistic choice. And the choice here, expressed by the three actors inexhaustible dance movement, were the anger towards the seemingly meaningless life routine and the anguish of reassuring ourselves to delve into that routine again. The play followed the above logic straightforwardly, in which the three sisters allow their anger to explode and transform themselves from housewife dresses to sadomasochism (SM) suits and back to dresses again followed by a key TV tag lines of the 70’s – “Life is beautiful, we should cherish everyday”(accordingly to my vague memory). Just when you thought the play would end here, director Hiroshi Koike, left us a haunting image of one of the sister’s clowning face and then…black out…

Three Sisters is a delicate hybrid of theatre and dance, once the audience could adjust themselves to that and let go for looking similar pattern they watched before in theatre or contemporary dance, then they would find it very easy to engage with. Despite its sophisticated structure, the importance of this play is not the logic but to reflect the insanity of our state of being.

The experience resembles Chinese acupuncture, for which the play pierced onto different acupuncture points of your body. Gradually, you could feel your blood streamed freely, at the same time, taking away all unwanted residue from the vessels. Before you realize, you see the absurdity of your life, realizing how ridiculous we are trying to rationalize every preposterous decisions we made for our life.

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