Diva Divan is a collaboration between International Culture Lab and Margo Korableva Performance Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia. Physical theatre actors, visual artists and writers from each country are working to jointly create a performance. Ideas are developed in workshop settings in each city and expanded upon, using Internet resources. Each discipline takes the lead at various points in time, as collaborators become inspired to move the process in a desired direction based on each other’s input. Through this process, a rich landscape is created in which each committed artist has a maximum stake. In August of 2014, Nick Fracaro and Gabriele Schafer traveled to Tbilisi to initiate the project with David Chikhladze, director of Margo Korableva Perfomance Theatre, and his collaborators. At the invitation of the Giorgi Leonidze State Museum of Literature, we met in the museum’s inspirational courtyard and soon Diva Divan was well underway. Since then, both companies have been holding workshops in their respective countries, exploring various ideas and ways of working. In May of 2015, a joint workshop and performance exchange took place in Georgia at the invitation of the Center of Contemporary Art-Tbilisi.
On May 15, three members of the New York ensemble joined Nick and Gabriele in a 3-week visit to Tbilisi to begin sharing each other’s work and ways of working. Nick and Gabriele introduced the Margo Korableva group to their Butoh-based methods.
Diva Divan was Philadelphia City Paper’s “artpicks” of the week for September 1-7, 2005. Audrey Gray wrote: “I attended a rehearsal for Diva Divan… and saw actors working for hours in a style I had never seen before patiently taxing themselves with complex choreography and slowly linking it to text. Their work paid off. On opening night, an audience of writers, actors, suburbanites, jaded city folks, and visual artists turned out to take in the experimental performance. There’s a lot going cooking in this company and I am hopeful that Philadelphians and other audiences hungering for innovation will get a second helping.”