After seeing Kammer/Kammer, the Willam Forsyth Dance Company, BAM, May 3rd 2006
Maybe it's because i had my mind a little pre-augmented before the show, but "Kammer/Kammer" -- a dance/theater piece by the William Forsyth Dance Company (try saying it without lisping) was so so amazing. It pulled something out of me. The most emotionally connecting production I've seen in months (Besides my pal Taylor Mac's gorgeous and intelligent mermaid musical Red Tide Blooming). You should just read about both productions through the various media available to you, but don't pay attention the crabby reviews in the Times.
Maybe the performance hit me hard because i am so confused about where love went inside my body. It's like its lost somewhere in my body -- a beebee gun pellet -- and i have no idea where it went. Is it under my palm? Is it in my lower right rib? is it lodged in my liver?
K/K swings between two narrators -- a young reluctant twink kid who is dating a rock star from Douglas Martin's auto-bio-novel Outline of My Lover and Anne Carson's poem "Irony is Not Enough: Essay on My Life as Catherine Deneuve (2nd Draft)" in which a classics professor, obsessed with one of her students, fantasizes herself as Catherine Deneuve. At first of course both are happy and confident in their relationships...the kid marvels at the sleek hotels and crowded entourage-filled dinners, the professor spins her easy, cool, seductive web and invites her class to a dinner party. But then they both unravel -- the rock star grows weary of the kid, the student never comes to the dinner party. The profesor and the twink scream, cry, dancers toss on beds. Cameras point at them. Catherine quotes terrifying phrases from Sappho like "Eventually the Mask becomes the Face."
I sat there, 36, and noticed that not only was I identifying more with the Catherine character, but that as soon as she began expressing pain and anger and rage, I felt a pang of regret that i CANT EVEN muster up enough juice for THAT kind of theater inside myself. I am all removal and sullen expectation and craft. No wows anymore, always distant and observing my own machine. Like a surgeon. I am so not affected by love stuff like i used to be, when i was the twink of sorts. (well i really never was the twink per-se...i'm not boyish-cute...i spent my twink years with bad skin in suburbs. I've always looked 35).
I am fascinated by the gore and guts and watch them from the observation seats behind glass. I have two sets of friends right now going thorugh painful breakups and they have such electric access. I sit observe it like its open heart surgery and try to offer cool support. Then i meet another stephen (so many stephens lately) who can't let me into his inner layer for various reasons (a breakup, so busy, so unsure, battery died on the cellphone) and I expect it and breath it in easily. Asthma vaporizers.
I met one of the leads, Anthony Rizzi, after the show. (He saw the Butt Mag spread, and we have been email pals lately. That's another story altogether), and we hung out afterwards at my favorite local haunt, TWB. I was so grateful to him for calling me and reminding me to come to this show. He is truly a lovely guy and an incredible actor. Which was in evidence when I gushed to him how much i loved the show and he was like "Eh. Thanks. It was an OK night." What a pro. He's been doing it so many times that even HE is removed from the emotion.
So funny, how randomly evocative things are.
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