In/During Her Absence

I had noticed a post for this show pop up in my feed, and then my friend Krista, whose taste in theatre I trust implicitly, suggested I see it. So, last night instead of sorting through papers or choosing photos for the memorial, we headed over to the Minnesota Trapeze Center to see it.

The Center is devised as a circus class space, not a theatre, and so there were just a few chairs set up in the (very hot, remember it was 90 degrees yesterday) room. This suited the intimate sense of the show well, though. The set was simple — two static traps, and then marley and a few mats on the floor; a few other pieces of apparatus including a cyr wheel and a silk that was also briefly used for projection.

The piece itself was a mix between aerial work that was evocative without being overly flashy, two ground-based dancers who added a sense of tragic-clown levity (not overtly funny, but adding humor), and a sort of in-between character who added a bit of magic (especially in a bubble moment where the light reflected off the soap bubbles and seemed like harnessing the planets.) I had expected it to be mostly wordless, but there were both live speaking moments and recorded pieces. Though it's perhaps the images that stick in my head, it's the words that remain in my brain, especially the story of a man going outside and seeing an eagle just after his dad had died, and a monologue at the end talking about how each death experience is incredibly specific.

It's that specificity that hit me. Through this whole experience with my dad, what keeps on hitting me is that I thought I knew how to do this, and it's so different than when my mom died. It's a lesson I'm not exactly sure I wanted to learn twice.

We came home and Beatrix collapsed into tears about something about Santa (she's very obsessed with Santa right now; I think she's thinking of how different Christmas will be without my dad) and we all went to bed with a lot on our minds. That said, I think that I really needed to think about death (and more particularly, being the survivor) in a different way right now, and I'm grateful this piece came along when it did. I would recommend you see it, but it too has passed....


Deborah said…
The particulars are specific but I found that I was able to connect to people in a new way after this loss, a way that has added dimension to it. Sending love.

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