Felix Mathias Ott’s ‘Odyssey Complex’ was presented, as a part of the’ Attakkalari Biennial 2013’, at Ranga Shankara recently. What was interesting was that it had a burst of energy, an exploration of a cycle of events, and a perfect interaction with the stage props.
This work starts with the presenter picking the mic up to introduce the star and the act, after which follows a series of comic episodes. He says that the ‘show has been cancelled since the director ate something wrong’. The presenter, Felix Mathias Ott, who is in fact the choreographer and the protagonist of the show, is ‘asked to keep the show going’. He reads and explains about what this work, ‘Odyssey Complex’, is about.
Felix begins with a narrative about the journey of a hero and the various steps or phases he goes through during an exciting adventure.
This adventure is narrated in a comical manner that catches the audience attention. But slowly, the audience feels the intensity of the act coming to life, as the mood and scenes change — like when there is a sudden gush of water on to the actor on stage portraying heavy rain, or another scene, where a pile of dirt falls from above and more. An interactive part of the performance, which took everyone by surprise, was when the performer walked over the barricades in the theatre, through the audience to hook a table to the top row, and keep the table suspended in air. This table, which seemed like any ordinary table, then turned into a God-like character, with the lights underneath blinking to depict conversation.
This performance was also coupled with sound effects and the screening of a film, which relates to the scenes shown on stage, in bits and pieces throughout the performance. This performance, which was based on Odysseus’ epic journey, intrigued and provoked the audience to think of their own versions of the journey. Hemabharathy Palani, a performer at the festival, comments, “It was a piece of art. Each piece is different and I’m not comparing it with any other, since sometimes sweet isn’t sweet enough. The way Felix kept us pinned to our seats, with how he kept switching modes, was very interesting.”
Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, another performer of the festival, says, “It was an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ like experience. At many scenes, one could imagine things would all explode, and then he would take it to another level.”