Recently landed: Love is Blind (Gracia's written response for Fjord Review)
Love is Blind presents us with a conversation between the song cycles of Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert and the complex, yet simple (and simple, yet complex) choreography of Dumas as told to us through the dancers, Eric Fon, David Huggins, Nicole Jenvey, Beth Lane, Molly McMenamin, Esperanza Quindara, and Johathan Sinatra. And just as Schubert’s song cycles can been read as a conversation between composer and the German Romantic poet Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller (elements from both Die schöne Müllerin and Die Winterreise were set to music by Shubert), so is the case with this work. The two parts equal a new reading not possible without the other. The words become music and the music becomes words; the dance becomes the music and the music becomes dance. Together, in collaboration, a new reading is possible.
And this new reading is one where ears lead eyes. In the dark, fragments of a dancer’s body can be seen. Seven performers all dressed in uniform black pants and tops disappear and become one with the dark. A face illuminated like a Carivaggio painting. A light like a candle glow. Dancers appear as clear as Carivaggio’s painted reflection of Narcissus (c. 1597-99).
Feet are heard more than seen. And they make no effort to mask sound. Feet here stomp and shuffle and gallop. Hands clap, twice. We hear everything. Dancers run in a circle, faster and faster, and one drops out. Falls to the sidelines. We strain to make out forms and we let our ears inform us that a hand is sweeping across the body of another. The sounds of fabric brushed. We piece these suggestions together with the grand universal themes of love and its associated ache covered in song. We catch sight of figures writ large on the wall. Shadow play flashes on the stage wall to the right. Figures grow large and small depending upon how close they are to the light source. Edges are impossible to decipher and so are read as one moving, cohesive and beautiful mesh. We are both the Miller (of the poem), covered in white baking flour, and the object of his affections. And we are heartbeat, heartache and breathe. We are the body in this sensory exploration.