It's wonderful when the universe sends you someone that is intellectually curious, generous of heart and creative. Marcos and I are getting to know a new found friend and fellow artist by the name of Pedro Alejandro. He teaches dance at Wesleyan, and recently presented a piece called No Eggshells/Outside. I'm always eager to share interesting things with my good people. So, here is a link to the video and an entry describing my reaction to the piece. Enjoy.
As I watched the video presentation of No Eggshells/Outside, through the Sepia tone veneer, it invoked within me a feeling that bridged the ancient with the modern, the man-made with the organic, the individual with the group. These layers of non-colors also created a dreamlike world.
The stage direction of the performance was new to me. The audience first encounters the performance occurring in an open field of grass, and are then ushered into a space a several feet away that is comprised of stone and cement. This is clever staging in that it provides the audience the choice to participate in the experience, by continuing to travel deeper into the world that is being created.
The soundscape that the dancers perform within intrigued me. For me the sounds are tethered to an ambient undercurrent that is trance like, while industrial and natural sounds serve as lyrical percussion. Think of a person chanting Ohm in a city dwelling while the sounds of the city and nature interject.
I saw three worlds being portrayed in the video. The first and most visible was the world of the here and now. This world is filled with ritual, human interaction and constructs. The beings in this world interact with conditioned understanding, while under the surface I felt they wanted a deeper connection which each other. This was apparent to me when at times they relied on each others bodies for creating the energy needed to propel their movement.
At the core of this world is a struggle humans experience between the artificiality of society and their intrinsic nature. This is displayed through the movement of the dancers that at times halts unexpectedly, as well as the moments, where the influence of organic African and Capoiera movements surface throughout the piece.
The second world is presented through the video vignettes of the dancers that is projected on the walls at the actual performance, and layered into the video in order to move the viewer away from the stage performance. I look at this as a view into the thoughts of the people that live within this world.
The other world is based in a deeper fantasy. What seems like rabbit figures to me take us deeper into a hidden world. These figures play with natural elements, such as water, as if they understand it in a way the beings of the first world are not able to see.
A woman eats a boiled egg. She is not dining but consuming. There is no expression of her enjoying the meal. It’s a methodic consumption of substance. I find it to be a metaphor of modern people taking in, without thought of consequence or enjoyment.
The Sepia tone removes color. It is a warm light that can make us see nuances, but not where we should live. An eggshell is benign in color, but what is within the eggshell, is vivid in purpose. In order to transform the egg into life requires commitment and patience. The unique flavor of the egg is diminished through mass production. What is missing is the open pastures for freedom of movement, thought, and support by knowledgeable souls. This is needed in order to give birth to life-affirming hatchlings, that can color our world.