reviews sounds from her
Shika Budhoo on behalf of Artsmart, January 2009, Catalina Theatre, Durban, South Africa
"...It was a unique experience for me as I was in that moment made truly aware of the personal and political ties that facilitate our existence. The protest (sort of an unwanted pre-show event outside the theater), I must mention, made me fully aware of the principals of protection, desperation, conflict, security, fear and hope.
The piece explored all these ideologies and more. So in a sense, what may have appeared as a ‘conflict’ start to this show, in a strange way enhanced my viewing of it and pushed me to think harder about what the presentation of this piece of theatre involved and its outcome. It was not ‘just’ a piece of theatre, it had immediate links to the world around it and with the tense environment, it made it more an awareness piece, which for me, was exactly what the piece, Sounds From Here, was about. Awareness! However, it had was not about political awareness, but rather SELF-awareness… 'Sounds' presented the awareness of one woman amidst the changes that are inevitable. Changes: in environment, in body, and in thought. Jahshan’s character explored the constant re-evaluation one has to do in order to survive, and the push and pull of the psyche that affects all areas of life. A psyche, that had been affected and afflicted with an existence that is plagued with the fact that a truly personal experience can never completely be shared."
A physical theatre piece, Sounds From Here, is spoken in Arabic and Hebrew, with a live English translation voice-over.
As in a true postmodern work it comes specifically from one point of view, told using various techniques and open to a host of interpretations. In this performance, it was evident that Jahshan broke many barriers, theatre and personal. The element of childhood and development was a strong personal component. It was both an emotional piece of theatre- as the intensity of the performance was sterling- as well as a didactic piece of theatre -if you allowed yourself to be spurred by the impetus of the images, words, movements and unconventional visuals offered. With her voice, entire body expression and her relation to the ‘almost’ empty stage, Jahshan in her performance was able to transform moment to moment, expressing the changes in thought and emotion exceptionally well. Her energy was slow and steady when need be, and fast and frenetic when intensity built. Lighting was a vital component to this piece of work as the choice of colours, the level of light spillage and the transformation of spaces were brilliantly conveyed completely complimenting the experience. The show embraces the techniques of Bertolt Brecht, in that many devices of alienation were explored, i.e. making the audience fully aware of their presence as onlookers, calling at audience member to be part of the action, when Jahshan climbs her way through the auditorium of people in the audience and the physical contact she makes with certain audience members amongst other techniques. Brechtian techniques asks for the audience to look on and learn and feel alienated, but in some way have a connection to the secular message portrayed in a way that propels action in thought or behaviour.
Sounds From Here, explores the constant jump between public and private space. In both private and public, the questions of what is allowed, what is prohibited, what is needed, what is discarded… what is and what isn’t? They are questions that we are constantly faced with, the need to understand and make sense of that we are fed and what we choose to eat. The dance and acts performed simultaneously made me more aware of the constant tug-o-war that is inside us all. It is the tug-o-war of what we ‘want’ people to see, what ‘they’ choose to see and what is actually paid attention to…
Sounds From Here, is an emotionally stimulating piece of work if you allow it to be, and even if you aren’t emotional, it’s a chance to view a piece of work that is true to the postmodern eccentricities of our age… “V
Review by Claire Newton, January 2009, South Africa, Musho festival“Sounds From Here is an extremely beautiful and intense production. It deals with the complex life of a Palestinian woman - performed by Rasha Jahshan, and top marks must go to her for her brilliant performance. Rasha gives of herself with total commitment and her performance had soul. I was awe struck with the depth and the intensity of the emotion she portrayed through her body (from cheeky and playful to tortured pain and angst) not only on stage, but also around the auditorium and among the audience...”
Review By Dawn Haynes, Musho festival January 2009."...This was strong piece, superbly performed by the agile and intense young performer. Certainly not for the faint-hearted, “Sounds from Here” is an inspired and inspiring performance...”