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Interview: Anton Mirto / A2

Performance art duo, A2 have been described as being ‘like a chance meeting of TS Eliot and Agnes Varda’. Since forming in 1999, they have established a dedicated following of fans. Some have been audience, while many others have actually been involved with the personal performances that more than often delve deeply into questions about the human condition. Franck Bordese meets co-Director Anton Mirto in between rehearsals for their next work ‘About Blindness’ that premieres at the Royal Opera House on Friday, 14th November.

What’s A2?
A2 is an artistic collaboration between myself and another ‘A’ - Alit Kreiz. Together we create experimental performance and installation projects, exploring new personal, social and emotional language forms. In each case we aim to interrogate and reflect the human experience, thoroughly. We met nine years ago in a production of Arabian Nights at the BAC where we were both playing princesses, gossiping behind veils… whisper, whisper, whisper!

What made you decide to work together?
We both felt creatively unfulfilled by what we were seeing and asked to do theatrically. Through debates surrounding ways of seeing and being, we found we shared a common language and a mutual desire to explore and develop work that mattered - that could stimulate personal and social change. So one morning, we met and by the end of the day the skeleton of our first show ‘Miss did it hurt when you fell down from heaven?’ literally vomited from our mouths. It then took three months over very long nights and spaghetti, to understand what had actually come out of that first session. By then we were completely absorbed in conjuring new imaginative worlds and performative vocabularies. ‘Miss did it…’ was an exploration into human relationships and the games we play. It was immediately picked up for the Best of British Visual Theatre at the BAC. It was later presented at The Place, Hoxton Hall and the ICA.

To interrogate our human condition and choice is still at the heart of our work. This year we buried 40 people in Vienna and Ljubljana with earth! And in Barcelona we tied ourselves with seven metre long tights from the ceiling to explore notions of control!

ROH has commissioned you to make a new piece, what is your starting point for this new work?
Pfff! There have been so many. A point always seems to point to another point. We began looking at greed and ended up looking at beauty. The type that you carry within, that allows you to find the potential and value in all things - including those that are redundant. Details that are disregarded when we don’t care, re-looking at a thing and re-discovering its worth. We often work with what we find in the street. Like black drain pipes in this one for example. And as with past works we will ask questions - provoking the audience into their own interpretation and answers.

How about drama?
Always. As much as relying on the drama of a situation presented on stage, the drama / conflict is more often provoked within the audiences thinking mind and feeling heart, even when nothing is happening. Our new work is called: ‘About blindness – to mean something once and not anymore’. The kind of blindness when we choose not to see - turning our backs to the consequences of our actions and the current pressing issues in the world.

When you’re performing, what is it that you enjoy most?
When Alit feeds me a line or look in a way that we’ve never done in rehearsals and I have to find a new way to bounce back. It is very alive, in the moment, in the now and we are enjoying ourselves and our audience can tell.

What makes you happy?
Being inspirational. Contributing to small changes in people’s lives.

Your work is usually very physical, will About Blindness follow suit?
We will definitively be moving our arms and perhaps pointing a finger or two!

A2 premiere their new work ‘About Blindness’ at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House on Friday, 14th and Saturday, 15th November 2008.

For more information about the company, go to:

To book tickets call the ROH box office on 020 7304 4000 or go to:

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