Luis Garay’s Maneries at FringeArts Philadelphia
Maneries, April 14-16 2016, at FringeArts, Philadelphia
In here, it’s a woods-at-dusk kind of light, enough to move forward but not enough to be sure about beginnings and endings. This is not a social moment for us, the audience. The dancer, Florencia Vecino, and the musician, DJ Mauro AP, maintain a preparedness on stage right. The musician is on the floor, feet out. His laptop does not glow. There is an expected resistance to noticing. Get my shit together and pay attention. Two rows of warm silver lights, even across the grid, are tilted down onto the stage, raising their eyebrows at us.
To do the same solo for years — year after year — is it a living? Is this how you make a living? Is it a practice? Oh. I cannot see their faces. I can see her stomach and her shins and her shoulders, an impatient still life. The door to the outside hallway closes on the social scruff outside. It’s chiaroscuro turned down to a general squint in here. I hear her sneakers. A moon of light slips into place, center stage. We’re going to be here for a while.
I know and you don’t. You don’t know yet but you will. The airplane and train are outside. Flat hands. Taught. The compressed up-ness of a popped collar. The elbows grin. Cheshire cat revealing his teeth in the woods. I think I can see the contraction of the lungs. The noise pitches up. There is a haunting of bass. The bass gets a tail, then a belly, then a throat. Long, lean, awkward pose. No lights for you. The darkest place is behind her hands. I’m seeing your hands. I’m seeing my hands. I’m pulling my gaze back into my skull. There is a compression here.
I am opening my claws, a plié opening. The gaze is going way back into my head, like the opposite of a cartoon. This is not comfortable but it is familiar. Fingers, pelvis, toes, popcorn shadows. Finger ping-pong. It’s not funny but it might be fun. I am in control and I haven’t moved my feet yet. Here is how you know there is subtlety passing by. Here it is in case you missed it. All the joints are well oiled.
Blurry like egg beaters. The blur is pink/white/grey. This body is a Tesla coil.
There are three squares of low backlight ☐☐☐. There is a cowbell rattle.
I’m wearing sneakers (bitches.) I’m wearing sneakers: this is an epic moment. Yes, it is in slow motion. Your expectations about time and sequence have shifted in the last while. (Mine have)
A / / of light connects you to me.
The ☐☐☐ are embers back there.
It may be a relief to see my back now. There is a foreshortened shadow underneath, like in Peter Pan, it may peel off the floor.
Running in the / /. It’s a relay that always faces front. Seeing you sometimes more and sometimes less. It’s exactly the same every time but also obviously not because that is impossible. Now it’s about the backing up. Now it’s about the coming forward. Now it’s compounded. Now geometric. Now romantic.
Here is the space, as seen by an athletic metronome. Measuring tape laid out with my monkey spine. It gets lower and lower and harder and harder and therefore more and more exactly itself. Getting close to the musician. Passing Go.
Galloping on a fixed point. Very close to this laptop cord. This funky run. This is athletic, you fuckers. And also delicate. Yes, it’s like I am a track athlete. It sounds like this. I’ll take a minute if I need it. I know. I see you. I’ll groan-scream quietly at my water, ‘cause fuck. Maybe this part was different when I was younger, when we first made it. It was all different.
Nude with sneakers and triangle shadows. The temperature is different. The dignity of sneakers. The ☐☐☐ is back. There is safety for you in my precision. It could slice. Smell and joints and feminine effort. Me crawling will remind you of something but this is not only that something. Take it easy but please don’t relax. I’m not reclining here in this reclining pose. I’m making this not sexy but it feels good. The isolated moments of a photo are a false way of time.
(drink water) Draw a line around my waist. Am I holding my breath? No. You can see my ribs moving. How masculine. Here are more signs, negotiations, adjustments. These are being batched together. The train is coming. It’s hard to put a sweaty sports bra back on. We all knew that already. Here is a bouquet. There are already things in the space, air, always. An asymmetrical walk that is off balance. This is satisfying. You can call this here. Eyebrows up? Face more. A dozen egg motions, opened at the counter, to see if any are cracked. Each egg a perfectly strong container that fits in your palm.
Luis Garay, the choreographer, comes on stage and he bows. She keeps going. Well oiled, well worn, nothing is extra. She bows and it feels like we are grateful.