Secrets and Seawalls
25th of October 2015
"Now, think of a secret.
Where does it live in you? How does it move through you?
How would it reveal itself?"
— Quote by Melissa Riker
It is a perfect October day to find yourself on the beach at Fort Tilden. The dilapidated buildings - this was only ever a temporary town built to service the world wars - and raging sea are the perfect backdrop to Melissa Riker’s Secrets and Seawalls.
Kinesis project celebrates their 10th Season of producing these ‘beautifully fierce’ performances by harnessing the great outdoors as their stage. True to Riker’s artistic and choreographic process, the movement quality is dialogue-embodied. With the good fortune to have attended several of the rehearsals, I have witnessed this first hand:
Dancers are paired, the first allocated a pre-determined phrase whilst the second is dancing ad-lib. Whole sequences are entirely dedicated to cajoling secrets from one another: the tension, the push, the pull, the vulnerability. Their initial reluctance and trepidation is followed by exhales, those which come whenever you have unburdened yourself of a secret, no matter how large or small. That moment before the wrath and consequence of being loose-lipped (we’ve all been there) had me spellbound.
The partnership with architect Lee H. Skolnick is apparent as the audience is coaxed along the promenade by the dancers who, like mischievous water nymphs, lure you to a graffiti-strewn concrete carcass where they are perfectly framed; dip diving through the building’s shell. If you too are mischievous, you may play the nymphs at their own game in changing your vantage point, each of these positions a ‘hide and seek’ on your own terms.
The performers are as breathtaking as their gasps. The exertion, salt spray and gritty sand in their mouths tried to get the better of them but failed miserably. As their layers caught and unravelled in the breeze - think early nineties Comme des Garçons in the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat palette - they were as unbreakable as they were poised.
Short of being overly emotional, the last time I felt the sting of tears (blame it on being windswept - I did), was with Wayne McGregor's 'The Waves', the third triptych in Woolf Works based on Virgina Woolf’s novel. Perhaps it was a little homesickness or maybe it is my long standing love affair with the ocean, however, I have more than an inkling that it runs much deeper than this.
Secrets and Seawalls's Spring performance schedule for NYC and the surrounding area will be announced in the new year so keep your ear to the ground and go. You will be blown away, and can expect some revelations of your own.