It’s All Matter/It All Matters: In Rehearsal with Beth Graczyk

Beth Graczyk in One of You is Fake. Photo by Effyography.

A rehearsal with Beth Graczyk can be many things: a science lesson, a contemplative discussion, a costume party, an informative lecture, a focused choreography. In the case of One of You is Fake, her newest work premiering this week as a part of the LaMama Moves! Dance Festival, it is often all of those things and more.

I am intrigued by her handling of these different states (modes? approaches? contexts?) when I visit a recent rehearsal. Working with her collaborator, performer Lindsay Head, Graczyk has crafted a somewhat-solo that cycles through three distinct personas (which I won’t reveal here for fear of spoiling the fun). All the while, One of You is Fake creates a line of questioning around the “future”– the concept being a noun, a verb, and a problem to face — as it confronts how mankind has hungered for advancement that has resulted in both the destruction and development of our societies.

A distinct world, in all its imperfect incarnates, is certainly what results from Graczyk’s generosity of form and lucid sense of narrative density. As she cycles through these different personas, there is a disparity between the ideas constituting a past, present and future that seem to complicate linear time while managing to reinforce it. And, it can get messy. Graczyk makes me feel that being human is utterly ridiculous and gorgeously triumphant at the same time — and, isn’t it?

During this rehearsal, Graczyk reveals her fascination in the slippery nature of how scientific and creative impulses converge (apart from her life as a choreographer, she also has a career as a scientist). Science is essentially a set of narratives that emerge as “fact” or “truth” after certain constraints are achieved, she near-casually explains. I realize, in this moment, that science is so full of subjectivity I feel near-dumb for not coming across her explanation sooner. Narratives that are able to become real after a process is enacted. Like live performance. Like everything.

A focused exploration amidst the contours of human interiority, One of You is Fake seeks a solace that the present moment, or near-past, or fast-approaching future for that matter, can never quite provide. As its audience, we are left with a firm belief in a pursuit of honest connection; true human relationships — physical, emotional, electronic or otherwise — may be our one saving grace.

Beth Graczyk in One of You is Fake. Photo by Effyography.

One of You is Fake will premiere as a part of the 2017 LaMama Moves! Dance Festival, May 25 and 26. More information here.

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