“He’s so naked,”
I heard my friend says.
Not that I’m malicious, but the remark flashed an image of him dancing naked in my head. He started the show wearing a big robe, which he ever so gently, stripped from his body, off one shoulder, down the next, his upper body bent slightly forward, his manhood tucked between his thighs. Soon he stepped out of the robe completely, danced to the tune of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, eyes closed, hair falls over his face. He danced in complete abandon like he was the only person in the room, like he seemed to have forgotten he had an audience. Apart from the music I could hear nothing. I squirmed in my seat, not wanting to look but couldn’t avert my eyes. I was suspended. He was naked indeed, but not only in a literal sense. The scene happened in a show called Russian Psychology Kaso Uno.
My friend, Christine invited me to see the show of her former colleague, Russ Ligtas. She was quick to inform me that it’s not a theater performance but a performance art. I couldn’t recall if I had seen such a thing in the past, nevertheless, I was willing to go. The show was held at the SDA (School of Designs and Arts) Black Box Theater in College of Saint Benilde. I arrived not knowing what to expect but was armed with curiosity. Our other friend, Bembe and her husband also came to the show, so were the other friends of Christine from work. I heard them talking about Russ, that he used to be a heartthrob of their team. Apparently, many girls have been crushing on him in their company, including those from other departments.
Russian Psychology is a one-man show that delves into the complex psyche of a human being. Russ portrayed several characters, such as Happy, Mother Grief, Roland, etc., each one represents different persona that exist within the artist. It’s a creative take on multiple personalities and identity crisis, often hidden from the discriminating eyes.
The show is as unpredictable and as multidimensional as the artist himself. It is disturbing, entertaining, and at times depressing. Many a moment I didn’t know what to feel. I was either terribly confused or amused. Throughout the show, I was debating with myself if I loved or hated it. I hated it because a part of me that follows the norm has been scandalized. There were so many elements in it, and I’m not merely referring to the nudity, that unsettled my feelings. But at the same time, I loved it, because even when I was just sitting on my chair the whole time it felt like a liberation. Russ was telling a story, Russ was dancing, Russ was singing, Russ kept changing his clothes. At times, his face contorted in total grief, so powerful it almost reduced me to tears. Then in a blink of an eye his face brightens in a sweetest of smiles.
Russian Psychology is unlike any show I’ve ever seen. What I put here is but a tip of an iceberg. If you are feeling adventurous, or even just a bit curious you may still catch the last show on February 28 at 3:00 p.m.
In a nutshell it is a dissection of self, offered in different short narratives. As my friend said, the artist is so naked. He stripped away his masks and allowed himself to be observed by the audience. And I encourage you take a peek, no pun intended.
Ticket Price: P300 regular|P200 student
For tickets contact:
Roland – (63) 917-6289267
Happy – (63) 905-2699969