THE BIGGER THE FRONT, THE BIGGER THE BACK,
The work was a challenge given in the third choreographic LAB of DanceEast in 2013.
A passage of the book of psychoanalist Stephen Grosz was presented to me. The book is a collection of stories about everyday lives drawn from the authors experiences.
The story is about what psychoanalysts call ‘splitting’. It’s not based on a consulting room conversation, but on a conversation someone has with Abby on a flight from New York to San Francisco. She talks about her Jewish parents whom she is about to meet after a fifteen year gap. Her father stopped speaking to her after she married Patrick, a blond Catholic about whom her father made terrible racist comments. Now her parents are getting a divorce because her mom discovered that her husband has been having an affair for twenty-five years with his secretary, Catholic and blond!
‘And then I got it,’ Abby says, ‘The bigger the front, the bigger the back.’ That’s the way to describe splitting – the unconscious strategy we all use to keep us ignorant of the feelings in ourselves that we’re unable to tolerate. We want to see ourselves as good and put those aspects of ourselves that we find shameful into another person or group. Abby’s father projected his shameful feelings into her husband.
It inspired me to create a ‘boy-duet’ for Daniël Hay-Gordon and Steve Johnstone dancers of Dance East, led by Jonathan Lunn. The interesting thing about this piece is the fact that it was created with a strict deadline of only a half day rehearsal time! Later the duet would be danced many times on various occasions by Teun Van Roosmalen en Laurie McScherry from The Royal Ballet of Flanders.
To accomplice this challenge I choose key words and I build the dance around them.
HEAVY WAIT ON SHOULDERS
HAVE MULTIPLE FACES
SITTING IN THE KNOT WITH OURSELF
NOT BE ABLE TO LOOK IN A MIRROR