Jared and I went to see Chikara wrestling last night at the Troc.
Chikara is doing something rather avant garde with theater that would never be acknowledged as high concept art, but IS. My god, but it is. First of all, it is INCREDIBLY physically demanding for it’s performers. The athletics behind what they do blows me away. But then there was also this forth-wall breaking moment last night that was unexpected and wonderful.
At the end of the show, it looked like one of the wrestlers was about to win a match when security swarmed the ring, gathered up the performers and suddenly announced that the show was over. They ripped down the set, kicking over the curtains to reveal a beautifully staged tableu, a suffering wrestler atop of a sarcophagus (!) that we know contains another wrestler sealed inside. Security, in these black suits with t-shirts that said “Condor Security” in yellow letters yelled and shoved and kicked the audience out. It was this fourth-wall breaking experience where this theater in the round rolls out into the audience itself, and it became like we were now PART of the storyline, rather than watching it happen.
There was this one moment when the audience was shoved outside, and one audience member was SO INTO IT that he broke the glass on one of the doors at the Troc. It startled everyone for a moment, a real action amidst fantastic theater. But soon the moment was restored, as one of the Condor Security people stood in front of the door, arms crossed, looking out through the glass. There is a photo of it below, and what I like about that photo is that you can see the shattered reflection of the fan’s faces in that glass.
It was like theater that abruptly became live action role-playing, and you were FORCED to be in-character. I didn’t get good photos of all of that, and I am sorry for it. Forgive me, I am still developing those journalistic instincts.
Still, I did get some great photos of the performers and the audience.