What Can You Do
Monday, May 05, 2008
  Hanon Reznikov 1950-2008
I had the extraordinary honor of meeting Hanon and Judith and other members of the Living Theatre in NYC in 2004, when we marched and performed together as part of the troupe's Code Orange Cantata in the massive protest against Bush's re-nomination.

Hanon died this past weekend following a bout with pneumonia after a massive stroke in April.

When Hanon joined Judith to formally continue the Living Theatre after Julian Beck's death in 1985, he helped formulate the following statement of the collective's continuing mission.

Hanon explains that and just a little bit more, here excerpted from an interview by Will Swofford (available at http://www.bigbridge.org/fictwswofford.htm):

Hanon Reznikov: When Julian died in 85, I was called upon to redefine the mission of the Theatre as we decided to continue and what we, what I, wrote down then said:

To call into question
who we are to each other
in the social environment of the theater,

to undo the knots that lead to misery,

to spread ourselves across the public's table
like platters at a banquet,

to set ourselves in motion
like a vortex that pulls the spectator into action,

to fire the body's secret engines,

to pass through the prism
and come out a rainbow,

to insist that what happens in the jails matters,

to cry "Not in my name!"
at the hour of execution,

to move from the theater to the street
and from the street to the theater.

This is what The Living Theatre does today.
It is what it has always done.

I saw Paradise Now when I was 18 in 1968 and I was very turned on by it, I found it very sexy. I discovered extraordinary means of communication that were non-verbal and non-linear, evidently happening between the actors in the performance. This indicated to me very much the sense of there being other possibilities than the limited, rational, logistic possibilities we were being told were the only way to go. So my trip with the Theatre really began with my contact with them in that year, in '68, when they were doing Paradise Now. I didn't actually start working with them until a few years later. But my sense of the event of Paradise Now was one of extraordinary freedom, and it seemed like the world was just beginning to figure out how free it could be.

 
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