HARANCZAK / NAVARRE / GERARD BELL & KAREN CHRISTOPHER
“So Below” is a performance duet. Starting our process with a trip to visit the Hardy Ash, one of the Great Trees of London, we set out to make a collaborative response to the moment in front of us: the speed it takes tree roots to grow around a circle of gravestones and the disjunction produced by traumatic loss. We entered the studio to find what might surprise us. What we made is a record of what we discovered in the collision of both our shared and individual preoccupations with the distance between humans.
The piece and its concerns include buckets of water, mounds of earth, gravel, the time it takes a tree to wrap around a gaggle of gravestones and a stutter holding us in place. We learn the dance steps, tidy the graves, fail to determine the difference between pain and itch and tremble in the face of a world made small. Combining both composed and appropriated movement with spoken word, and focusing on the texture and sound of materials, the performance strives to express the completeness of a single moment.
We walk on the wrong side, we fail to progress, we run from the dance, we light the match, we define happiness, we have a cup of tea. We can’t find the horizon. We tremble in the face of death. We tend the garden. We attempt to present our findings on the quality of distance. Somewhere between heartbeats we are confronted with the time it takes a tree to grow around a circle of dislocated gravestones. We make way for progress.
This duet explores a moment of pause, the space between two stutters—stopped in our tracks, we can’t move on—and as time stops and the world is made small around us, we find a multitude encased in this interval. With a combination of gravity and lightness, two people inhabit a carefully constructed twilight of mounding earth and the sound of water intermingled with the comic grace of a time between world wars.