Deborah Hay brings together two masters of dance to connect the unconnectable. Adaptation by Jeanine Durning and Ros Warby. Poem by Tim Hurst
Two Explorers highly tuned to slight movement, to fainter sound, to tiniest molecular modulation. Two Explorer’s eyes are seismic readers of universes unseen and seen. Two Explorers in interplay too tuned to toy with thoughts and ploys.
Two side by side. Two approaching and apart. Two adjunct and adjacent. Two pretzeled and knotted. And afterwards observing, being aware, moving reflections, maybe separation, maybe embarrassment, maybe compassion, maybe exhaustion.
And to say a word about myself as audience with my slight perceptual abilities. At open, my word was “No,” no to relinquishing my version of personal interaction, no to entering my breath, no to allowing the two before me to become their exploration.
I could not fathom eyes that only explore. I could not imagine bodies that only respond together. I was not prepared for the intensity of so many universes in communion.
Yes, points of darkness placed throughout the experience allowed my system to reset itself and the softness of my “Yes’s” slowly overtook me.
And oh yes, the songs came as gentle breezes to my parched eyes as they waited to connect pure joy beneath my lids to the delight of living in the presence of other universes.
Oh yes, the song that only yesterday in the solo performances came singularly across the open plain, today the song comes from two separately unique universes of indeterminate origin.
And the song of two comes once and twice and more, each song’s return caresses yet another layer of liquid that I call my body. The songs come as if from a canyon rim warm with nature’s touch of life. Each of two songs tentatively meet finding dissonance as a first caress, then they fly freely echoing and joining and conversing. Our Two Explorers are embodied in their harmonic convergence and dis-convergence, their sounds in air emulating the touch of their multiple inner and outer universes.
What events propelled the Two Explorers to opposite walls of the space? Only a magician could explain. And from where came the dings and dongs tricking the audience with Jeanine’s hot lighted dance at one wall and Ros’ standing dance on the other. Our eyes as audience dart back and forth to discern the slight of hand that turned to be a foot and a finger involved in clanging metal sounds.
Yes, my “Yes’s” overcame my initial inertia and I became duly overwhelmed moment by moment with Ros’ exploration of Jeanine’s finger pointed into Ros’ eye, with ethereal shoe taps preceding the trail of here to there and to not being here at all, with the two in free fall, one digesting agony in inverted space while one is regurgitating with lips almost touching the floor.
Almost too overwhelming was the immense multiplicity of Two Explorers interrupting pattern after pattern, embarking again and again to interrupt what must seem like the sheer face of treacherous peaks, crevas after crevas. And then more overwhelm came for me to accompany the two as they break all bridles and like colts run fleetingly across the great expanses of our minds joined in this journey.
And as I gasp for air to fund this free run, the two are running willingly towards their backs, with the joy of their backs splashing through the air, side by side, eyes and foreheads and hearts in union.
Another free fall must come and a song and three words come spoken deeply. Our Two stand together facing their universes and ours. The lights go black.
In the darkness, the memory of Our Two Explorers falling and rising holds us as audience in awe. The final rise comes from us as we grant the two a long patient silence in the darkness before we exude what inept sounds and applause we can muster.