Choreographed, Written and Performed by Marissa Perel with Lindsay Reuter and Jumatatu Poe. Composers: Jon Moniaci and Shawn Hansen. Cover of Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy by Miguel Gutierrez. Video: Nicholas Steindorf. Video interview editor: Kristiana Weseloh. Production Stage Manager: Lille De. Lighting design: Elliott Jenetopulos. Costume design: Stephen May. Bed design: John Taylor.
More Than Just a Piece of Sky marks Marissa Perel’s return to The Chocolate Factory after many years of travel; her performance Burden premiered as part of our inaugural season in 2006.
Presented as part of the Queer New York International Arts Festival.
Choreographed, written and performed by Marissa Perel with dancers Lindsay Reuter and Jumatatu Poe, More Than Just a Piece of Sky is a multidisciplinary performance that mines personal and cultural exile as a site for the exploration of gender and sexuality, knowledge and power, and ability and disability.
As Perel lies in bed, Reuter and Poe emerge as dream figures that embark on a journey to uncover their own definitions of identity and intimacy against their childhood belief systems. Dance accesses a form of presence that lies between the subjectivities of the performers and their embodiment of personae drawn from Yentl, the 1983 movie musical that is based on the story by Isaac Bashevis Singer. As the episodic dances unfold, Perel creates a cut-up of poetic monologues and quotations of the movie to make a commentary on the place of queer identity and difference. Relics from the 1980’s: a Fisher-Price record player, slide projector, and musical covers from the era by Miguel Gutierrez, form a pastiche of cultural artifacts that build strange worlds just outside of the cognitive references of pop culture. The bedroom becomes the Yeshiva, which then becomes a planet where difference can create new terms and ways of seeing self and other.