Friday, October 15, 2010

"How Can You Stay at Home All Day, And Not Go Anywhere?"

How Can You Stay at Home all Day, And not Go Anywhere? is a moving masterpiece created by the artist Ralph Lemon. I saw it on October 14, 2010 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Harvey Theater. After the death of a cherished loved one, Ralph meets a 100-year-old man from Mississippi named Walter. Seeing an opportunity, Ralph’s career as a dance writer springs into action and it begins with Walter. Sharing the same passion, Ralph and Walter work together on a dance about a Hare who bravely dedicates his life to be a monk’s supper. During these few years Walter experienced two serious falls. Unfortunately, when Walter died 2 years later Ralph was forced to start over again.

This meaningful masterpiece is a mixture of emotion, energy, and exhaustion. It asks you to imagine a completely new way of being alive. That if you moved your body so much, your mind would separate itself from its physical being and move on to such exhaustion that it was no longer living in the places surrounding it. Though this kind of being was so physically risky that the dancers were throwing themselves headfirst into the floor and screaming and breathing so hard that you would be able to hear them from the back row of the balcony. This dance was also emotionally risky; there was a twenty-minute section that was entirely sobbing with almost no movement at all.

Afterwards, there was a post-performance interview with the cast. During that interview a young teen with brown hair stepped up to the mic and asked why there was so much falling, if it had any relation to Walter’s two falls. Lemon’s answer was a flat out “My body likes to fall.” What that shows is that the dance is a complete loss of consciousness over control of the body, the evidence that a body can be alive without consciousness as entirely energy. Though the exhaustion is so intense that it can transport your mind into a completely different world. To a new world, a new body, a new state of mind.