more excerpts from text
I’ve been corresponding with my dear friend Emma Fitzgerald about the text– she has the gift of gab and is a talented writer and poet (not to mention an amazing dancer/choreographer and queen of psychic connections with animals!). Here is her dance company website, with Aine Stapleton. I’m thankful for her insight and inspiration. What she said about the earlier draft of the text I sent her:
there is a kind of free- association vibe off it – I imagined them like a series of islands – in listening that we are taken to these little habitats and given a tour and then we leave.
I was day-dreaming today about holding mice in my hand again – they are so trembly and sweet – this piece is fascinating to me because I remember I used to wonder how the little mice could relate to me their GIANT OWNER !! what incredible feat of mouse imagination enables them to hop confidently into my hand to go sailing up into the air eating treats and exploring my whole body! Then I thought – maybe I’m like a huge big chunk of land – you know the way we can sense that the earth is alive and moving – or maybe they see me the way children see a carnival – they just inhabit it without piece by piece without worrying too much about the economic significance of its being there – was I a kind of interactive playground for them that gives them food – I wondered if they ever put the whole of me together and know that I’m a huge mammal like them…like when they went by my heart did it remind them of their heart ?? or is it too slow to make sense to a mouse heart?
Do you wonder what the rats imagine is going on? There’s a lot of interesting ideas in your piece for me about point of view and scale and interdependency – the image of a habitat.
I’ve been working steadily on the text for the performer. And I’ve decided to take the work in a different direction. The bodybuilder/actor had a different quality than the direction of the work, so unfortunately I had to pay him for his time and replace him with another performer (Maximilian Balduzzi, of Urban Research Theater). But fortunately, Maximilian and I have an amazing connection through the work and, with exactly 7 weeks left, I am confident the work will flourish with his motivation, focus, and talent.
Two more excerpts:
The man, who grew up on the land, told stories around the campfire about wild animals he’d seen nearby. There was the one about the lion, and the one about the leopard. The next day, the girl went for a walk in the bush by herself. It was not a place she knew and the man’s stories were ripe in her imagination. She brought her little camera just in case. Hungry animals lurked in trees, behind rocks, waiting for her to pass into range before pouncing. After walking in a vein of short trees for a while the girl encountered an expansive sea of tall yellow grass, the stalks as tall as her. A narrow pathway parted the stalks, leading to a tall dirt mound, a sort of look-out. When she looked back to make sure she knew the way back, there was her father, jogging towards her. “You can’t just leave camp like that by yourself,” he said between heaving breaths, “who knows what’s out here.” “I’m fine,” she said, “and anyway Brett said I could take a little walk if I don’t go too far. I’m just taking pictures.” “It’s dangerous,” said her father. “I know,” she said, “let’s go to that mound in the grass.” The pair, one small and confident, the other tall and tense, started down the pathway. They were aware of every rustle behind the walls of grass, every shift in wind quickened the pulse in their veins. They reached the mound and climbed to the top. Grass everywhere. The wind shaped the flat expanse in whorls and waves. The girl took a picture.
The boy climbed out of the swimming pool. He had decided he didn’t need his inflatable water wings. They were for babies and he was a big boy. He tossed them at his father’s feet and said, cheerfully, “I don’t need these anymore.” Without a second thought the boy launched into the deep end and promptly sank to the bottom. He had never been a floater. The boy kept his eyes shut to keep out the sting of chlorine. All was silent. Whoever thought of a birthday party at a pool was an idiot. When they got home the boy’s father cured his soggy money with a blowdryer.