because the personal is cultural
TtBernadette, photo by Ernest Potters
Enchanted Room, by Kristel van Issum & Guilherme Miotto
“I feel like my heart’s going to explode!”
The trees are bare. This is not an enchanted forest, but a room and, really, the enchanted part of it probably only exists in the characters’ head. Like the trunks without leaves around them, their bodies are strong, but their heads are weak. Their bodies are a joke played on them, athletic, but useless. Their pirouettes look ridiculous given that they’re barely holding it together otherwise. They’re delusional and the room in question might very well be a psych ward.
Performer Oona Doherty looks like she’s channeling Saturday Night Live’s Molly Shannon’s most neurotic characters: Mary Katherine Gallagher, Sally O’Malley, Anna Nicole Smith, Courtney Love… She takes on a sexualized persona the façade of which she cannot maintain because too fragile, and it crumbles around her.
“There is so much beauty in this world! I can’t take it in!” They may be quoting American Beauty, but the result is ironic. They’re not upper-middle class. They can’t just quit their job, work in a fast-food joint, and still buy the car of their dreams. They’re taking the piss out of it. That kind of beauty is also a privilege, one they will never be able to experience.
TtBernadette, by Kristel van Issum
TtBernadette shares a lot of similarities with Enchanted Room. The choreography is messy. Joss Carter and Doherty jump around, fall down, and spin without grace. They mostly function independently, but when they touch it’s harsh.
As in the former, there are also costume and wig changes, like they’re sporting different personas, but it’s only an illusion; they don’t ever really change. It’s disheartening, leaving them and us with little hope. There is no escape.
The washing machine in the middle of the stage highlights the lack of domesticity rather than its presence. The only thing domestic about their relationship is the sadomasochism that permeates it.
All this to say that T.r.a.s.h. are so hardcore that they’re not for the faint of heart.
I’m kidding. They really aren’t.
March 5-9 at 8pm
Danse Danse / Cinquième Salle
www.dansedanse.net / laplacedesarts.com
514.842.2112 / 1.866.842.2112
has an MA in Film Studies and works in contemporary dance. His fiction has appeared in Headlight Anthology, Cactus Heart, and Birkensnake.
s.verstricht [at] gmail [dot] com