I am super haunted today by a performance we saw last night by Ralph Lemon and an astounding group of dancer/actors at On the Boards (How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?). For a play-by-play (so glad I didn’t read this before going to see it!) read the article in the New York Times. And for an interview with Ralph Lemon, see this piece in The Huffington Post. But suffice it to say here that Lemon’s fluid movement between poetic language, video, dance and performance that struggles against the strain of mourning the death of a life partner has sunken so deeply into me that I don’t really even know how to talk about it. In fact, to limit the description to mourning pins it down too much.
The commitment of the performers to really difficult material and the physical exertion of the dance was much of what held the whole evening together, but it was also seeing inside a man’s creative process and grieving process at once, in a rare conflation of personal and universal that didn’t get bogged down in self-absorption. (I mistyped conflation as conflagration at first, which works, in a way, as well.)
Here’s another multi-tiered approach… literature, animation, sculpture, sound (nothing on screen can compare to real bodies in real space, but still…):