There are moments when premiering a timely piece of art is not a coup but an act of mourning. As I sat down to write this post, in the Blue Mountains of Australia, the US Senate had just rejected a watered down gun control bill, and in the same week two young men with a bomb exploded the Boston Marathon, locking down the city as well as nearby several towns with gunfights, while armed soldiers stalked the streets like a scene from a war movie. Instantly BoundWhim W’Him artistic director Olivier Wevers‘s new work that opened April 17 as part of BalletX‘s spring program—evokes the sense of loss, incomprehension and irreversibility engendered by all the acts of angry or senseless violence so sadly prevalent in the “Land of the Free” these days. Even death caused by illness or age digs a chasm that truly cannot be bridged. How much more bitter the emotions evoked when it is arbitrary, murderous—motivated by political or religious passion or ungoverned private rage? It makes me a little reluctant to return home…
But work goes on.
A few days ago, I wrote Olivier—who had been back in Seattle for the Tacoma show, then for six days in Monte Carlo—asking how it was to return to Instantly Bound after time away. His reply, sent on the day of opening night from a Philadelphia café where he was treating himself to breakfast “before a whirlwind of a day”:
“IB is looking very strong! The dancers are doing an excellent job.
My 4 hours lighting went smoothly. Always have to remain flexible and play with what they have of course, but the lighting designer who is also the stage manager is wonderful. It’s dark and simple, no gobos, no colors, single shafts of lights…creates the mystery. Striking look, very cool and shadowy…the way I like it.
I am excited to see the work come alive in front of an audience tonight…see what it actually looks like when it is breathing on its own!?
Aviad [Avik Herman] designed the costumes. They are looking very sexy and complimentary to the work, not at all distracting, just right.
Time away is great…it’s like rediscovering steps…being made aware of things you got used to.”
The next day, after opening night, Olivier emailed again to say, “Went great.
Lots of really good feedback! People moved by the work! Feeling good!
Thus, with the means at our disposal, we protest against senseless violence and unnecessary sorrow. Where there’s art, there is hope…