A dance about nothing—an exploration of space—the space between language and dance. They say a language dies every fourteen days. You don’t know our language, but we know yours. In our language, we have no word for ‘Being’—no word for ‘Truth’—no word for ‘Essence’—we don’t need these words! How could one live without them?
The performance of “Against Being” unfolded over three nights, with a different program each night. Security guards (from the Museum of Ancient Performance), checked audience members’ IDs at the door. All three nights opened with a speech in a language other than English: Estonian, German, and Spanish, respectively. The dances manifested out of a choreographic method meant to strip the body of metaphor. The ordinary names given to the body’s ‘parts,’ e.g. ‘arm,’ ‘foot,’ ‘hand,’ ‘teeth,’ or ‘leg,’ provided the basis for this choreographic method. An original electronic sound score structured the performances and made reference to the philosophical themes which inspired the work (the concepts of Being and Becoming as developed by Heidegger and Nietzsche). Suited up for combat with the concept of Being, the performers appeared in military costume. A ‘Great Lakes Address’ delivered each night, described a near-apocalyptic scenario in which the Great Lakes region becomes the site of wars over fresh water resources.