It's no secret to anyone who's seen ROSA and seen Pedro Almodovar's 2002 film, Talk to Her, that ROSA has stolen a few petals from that outrageous picture as well as from the dance muse at is center, Pina Bausch.
Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe here captures actresses Leonor Watling (left) and Rosario Flores (right) who portray a dancer and a bull-fighter who are both in comas and both being cared for by a male nurse who believes you have to talk to her. There's more than a few transgressions in this movie. It creeps under the skin and dances there.
Bethany and I recently spent a couple more days together--thanks to family willing to watch B's five year old, friends willing to host us and my two rambunctious and shedding puppies, and our rehearsal space offering us another helpful discount--and these days together were hard to describe.
Waking up with hours at the studio ahead--having talked through my rambling notes, threaded through both of our hearts since the last work session together in May, we sat with crumpled and eager morning-faces over our steel cut oats. Bee was looking at me with a confidence and trust I felt I had better stand up to.
That meant asking her a question, as usual.
Me: Bee, with all this where do we start?
Bee: Well, let's start with our relationship. It's where we are, and we'll know how to go from there.
Me; Why are you so smart?
Bee: And even better? I'm yours.
So we go to the studio and a window opened into a little world of furious emotion and crafting that neither of us saw coming--and yet we were not derailed. I have been looking into the history of mental illness and addiction in my family going back five generations and this work has been trickling like old water down a mountain in the background of ROSA since this year's revisitation.
Going our separate ways after this residency, new themes had opened up in the soil of ROSA.
What is it to watch someone you love making their own lives utterly impossible? really watch and not turn away?
How do you intervene or not intervene? What happens in your body as you watch? Should you close your eyes? Is there a value in your keen witnessing?
How does the dance you did as a young person live in you at age 100?
How does the dance you do at age 100 live in you now?
Where is the uncanny seem between the old and the new, and why does it slip and fall when we need it most to stay in place, like a faulty hem?
An old dress reveals a fresh whiff of peony. A new handkerchief releases the memory of the scratch of granddad's cheek.
Nothing stays where you put it even though you live alone.
These are the frightening pleasures of this particular creative process, as ROSA grows bigger, stronger legs and the four of us an ensemble begin to occupy it more fully. We need Lauren's voice more. We need Stephanie's voice more. We're working to fund those realities, and it's all coming together with gratitude, my White privilege of course, there's always that--and a few licks of hard work.
Up next: a score for Stephanie and Lauren inspired by TALK TO HER to explore long-distance until our next work session. Join in with us or comment with your thoughts, that'll be coming down the pike next weekend.
Meanwhile, I wish for you the time and space, at least a wee bit and hopefully a lot more, to let joy be your transmission.