Tuesday, November 22, 2011

other sides of fences

One of the great strengths of this production has been that it asks the singers to move, the movers to speak in song, the dancer to vocalize, and the four composer-performers in the back to dance sensitively. We've all been asked to concentrate on performative areas that we might not be used to focusing on, and everyone has risen to the occasion thoughtfully so that we're all a little closer together in discipline and I'm sure we'll all be better cross-discipline viewers & listeners.

I bring this up because for me, having a musical background, I'm now focused on how disciplines used to having a run of a show (and I mean a show, in which you're asked to take on more than just some notes or chords or whatever) probably produce performers who are more used to the end-of-the-run feeling than some of us are now. I'm sure withdrawal is withdrawal, and the sudden cessation of being asked to be a frog or a counter or a question answerer or a pose-replicator is always jarring, but I think theater and dance people are more used to it. It's been such a pleasure for me to figure out all these things, and by the nature of this piece, this weekend has been a terrifically thoughtful & fun time for me, and now I'm a little lost as to where to put my energy. Maybe I can try to find a good Chinese restaurant, or count three along with recordings of "Blue", or try to count along with the footsteps of pedestrians until their paths line up to my counts. Or maybe I'll just find a swamp to live in. I'm thrilled we got to perform as much as we did, but it's hard to leave!

1 comment:

  1. As a vocalist, composer and performer, I have been asked to do many things but I've never been asked to "count". For me this piece "That Morning Thing" speaks to the power of memory, the experience of fragmentation and the ephemeral nature of the moment. This piece is challenging for the performer and the audience because it asks us to embody discomfort. It asks us to bear witness, to 'not know' and to hopefully transcend.

    Mr. Ashley would say to me in rehearsals "Sing the numbers, Imani". Then finally during a moment while "Blue" Gene Tyranny was playing and pushing against the rhythm and I was counting, an understanding took place almost like a transmission and I began to "sing the numbers". 12_34_12_34_.

    After this revelatory experience of performing in "That Morning Thing", I walk away with a deeper understanding of my own process as a vocalist and composer. Buddha says "You can not travel the path until you have become the path itself." While performing Mr. Ashley's compositions, I tried to become the numbers, and in that becoming, I tried to translate to the listener the nuance of my emotional landscape as each moment flowed to the next. 12_3, 12_3, 12_3. I will never count the same. Namaste, Robert Ashley. Namaste.~Imani Uzuri