Art is metaphor. Once we start thinking about it, that seems so obvious. When overwhelmed by lies, obligations, contradictions and distrust we are Hamlet. When all too young and all too in love we are Juliet. And so on. Yes we remain like them, but at its best theatre doesn't make us think about how much we resemble those on stage. Rather, we recognize them.
They are us.
We see other girls underwater later. After a time, we understand. They are drowning. Eventually, we discover we are drowning with them.
But never a lecture! The dancers--Cheryl Delostrinos, Sruti Desai, Sarah Hogland, Lorraine Lau, Jenny Peterson--never take that cheap way out. Never let us off any hook by such simplicity. Pat Graney's piece remains as all great art, a puzzle to contemplate as well as a experience to sink into one's bones. This one will stay with me for awhile. Other audience-members when I saw it wept openly. I felt that urge later, as certain images and motions surfaced in memory. As I write this my mind goes to the title. Girl Gods. Why girls? Why not women? Eventually the idea comes--maybe because these characters remain, as yet, girls with womanhood to come?
Maybe. Well into middle age I often feel this. How can people expect me of all people to somehow function as an adult? I'm not a man, but still a boy. Just a boy. Still growing up. With so much yet to learn.
Like I said. Recognition. They are us.
For those concerned, this performance does include nudity.
Girl Gods as of this writing has performances Saturday Nov. 5 at 8:30pm and Sunday Nov. 6 at 3pm, at the REDCAT downtown, 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.