Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"AntiGravity: The 2007 Tour"

When I read Ginia Bellafante's NY Times theater review, "Where Bodies Are Perfect and Not Very Earthbound" (June 29) out of sync with other more recent reviews, I landed on her phrase, "the mood is loose" and stayed there for a while. Nan Melville for The New York Times - “Girl Power,” one of the segments of “AntiGravity: The 2007 Tour.”

She writes that the show bears no narrative, message or commentary, and the director says there is nothing to "figure out," yet there was a great deal she tried to figure out. Then she writes, "I wondered, for instance, how it could be that nearly every female dancer onstage seemed able to contort her body into a vertical split while few people I know can muster the flexibility to pick up a fallen bar of soap in the shower." This is a great description I think of how we think about what is "real" and not, and why. Airbrushing our way through our thoughts and deeds as we present them to ourselves and others for review keeps us from truly appreciating the energy and act of creation itself that is so beautiful.

This fits with what I've read about Sarah Ruhl too, the playwright who is being kept busy these days according to reviews. Her new play "Eurydice" was reviewed by Christopher Isherwood in the Times also in June with a headline of "The Power of Memory to Triumph Over Death." "The fabled creatues of 'Eurydice' may look like people you've seen on the subway, but they speak in images plaucked form the blue sky of their mythic imaginations." Shut up and get used to being dead, the blunt-spoken and familiar chorus of stones keep telling her. Constantly we are reminding ourselves of the power of our memory that transcends each single incident in our life, why the ordinary moments are what create the buoyancy within us as we swim in this ocean that is life. Smart, snappy, simple language, but full of the twists and turns which show the paths we take as we learn to know ourselves and what true love is. Risk and loss are continually painful if we have no knowledge of the true value of memory. I heard that voice in my head for years - "shut up and get used to being dead," even as I felt parts of me were alive. It's a very strange feeling without the knowledge of the classical structure and form that such a life story follows. Without form and structure that is well-defined, myth loses its way and such imagery is merely a forest of what feel like ghosts or guests you'd like to get rid of but don't know how without burning down the house.

Eurydice's quest is the same as mine, the same human quest to truly know who we are and what we want. The perfection Gina I's review reveals, in these wordless bodies, is one more image of appreciation of the simplicity of this beauty. The "why" reveals itself. We just have to know who we are to see it.

No comments: