Teatro Ciego in Buenos Aires
There are a myriad of shows, acts and musicals overflowing in Buenos Aires and they are all jostling to get under the limelight. Last weekend, my eyes were opened, so to speak, to a new phenomena as I went to experience the:
“Theatre for The Blind”.
“Theatre for The Blind” sounds like a strange oxymoron by itself, and obviously I was dubious upon buying tickets to see a “show” where you see nothing.
I will start from the beginning of the experience…
With some uncertainty, I put my hand on the waiter’s shoulder and followed him with a chain of people behind me through a pair of closed curtains. We entered complete darkness, utter blackness, there was not a single ray of light in the entire room. Eyes opened, eyes closed, it made no difference. The sensation was bizarre and really was so rare in the modern world where we live in. Clumsily I was led by the waiter to the table, fumbled for the chair and managed to navigate my backside successfully onto the seat. As explained to us, we had a plate of food in front of us, savory to the left and finishing with dessert on the right. Wine in front of that and a basket of bread after that, or at least that was the theory.
Using the hub of the conversation and other sounds around, you began to shape the room around you, awkwardly trying to give yourself some kind of bearing. You began to eat with your hands, ambling around the table and making small talks with your faceless new friends, staring into where you think where their eyes might be. And then, the music started. Out of the darkness, chimed the beautiful enchanting voice of Luz Yacianci, already you were picturing her dress, where she was standing, and what her face looked like. You nearly forgot that you had not seen her. A story unfolded, they painted a picture with smells, with noises and with their words, all of which fed your imagination. As the story unfolded, your senses heightened, the story intensified and you got caught up in the emotion of the drama.
Towards the end, the story led to the actress lighting a single candle, the tiny light sent the shape of the room as well as all the details you have created crashing down around you, apart from realizing how bad a blind bat you would make, it showed just how powerful an imagination you could have! Thinking about my memories of the experience, it was unique. Of course, you remember the darkness, the sounds, the smells, but special to only this type of theater, you remember what your imagination had created. It is similar to thinking back over a great novel.
The “Theater for the Blind” was one of the best shows I have “seen,” on top of this, it really was an insight into the life and difficulties faced by the blind and it also got you thinking about your senses. The show is called A Ciegos con Luz, and it is one of the many shows put on by El Centro Argentino de Teatro Ceigo. They run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Zelaya 3006, esquina Jean Jaures, B° in Abasto.