John Beer has written about theater for The Village Voice and Time Out Chicago.
Integrating video technology has long been a staple of downtown performance, from the pioneering work of Vito Acconci to the intricate spectacle of the Wooster Group.
Astaire’s high-stepping film routines, made his name in the late 1990s with his high-profile reimaginings of such balletic warhorses as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. These restagings succeeded primarily because of Bourne’s ability to translate the classic ballets’ emotional claims into a contemporary idiom.
The papaya is posing a problem. Erika Latta, co-artistic director of WaxFactory, is rehearsing a sequence during which she scoops the flesh from a papaya with her fingers, cramming the fruit into her mouth. She then lets it dribble slowly back out, forming a bright orange mound of mush in front of her.
Every plays run blends repetition and novelty: night after night, actors run through well-rehearsed motions and speech in the hopes of thereby awakening something unrepeatable, a shared moment existing only in this room, with this audience.