In the first of three offerings on July 11, Mandi Lee, who based her tale on Day 6, Story 8, takes us on an epic journey of change. And it all happens in one session in another wise deserted dance studio. She catches her reflection in a mirror—this Is Mirror Woman. Lee can channel Lucille Ball eyes in a demented moment like nobody else. During the interactions with Mirror Woman she is enthralled, they dance together, then she is held captive and tortured by Mirror Woman, and at last gets the strength to walk away, leaving a despondent self in her wake. The word that came to mind during this vignette was “chrysalis.” Her movement choreography evoked the pain of outgrowing our old expectations. It also mirrored the hard-won peace. Lee chose to work in black and white, which allowed the story to shine and all in four-and-a-half minutes.
This was another glorious half hour of thought-provoking stories on survival and growth and acceptance and all in a mere half-hour. Watch this series; I can’t wait for tomorrow.
Next up was Francesca Jandasek who based her story on Day 3, Story 10, “Put the Devil Back in Hell.” On a journey to find God, a young woman dressed in a wedding gown meets the devil, falls for his temptations, particularly those of the flesh, and outgrows him. It is so far the most overtly religious of the works I’ve seen, as it borrowed freely from Genesis and jumped to the crucifixion. It was a most interesting journey, and again, showed how hard it is to find, and cleave, to a purpose. It featured Dan Istrate, with cinematography by Dan Istrate, Ludovic Jolivet, and Francesca Jandasek and video editing by Ludovic Jandasek. This was the most cinematic of the three with scenes ranging from stony mountains to verdant fields and woods and a tent-like setting that brought to mind Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love.” It ran 10 minutes.
How does time pass in a pandemic, or any time of great upheaval, for that matter? Marissa Molnar, who took Day 5, Story 2 as the starting point, shows us. Sometimes time passes in a flash, sometimes it stretches out like taffy, but at some point we learn to relax into the uncertainty and become still and focused. The arc was visually arresting in this one, especially in the second half of the 7-and-a-half minutes. The support included director of photography, Leanna Molnar, home/technical/culinary and emotional support from Jason Hill, music “Seven Lights” by Sergei Cheremisinov, and music support from Konstantine Lortkipanidze.
This was another glorious half hour of thought-provoking stories on survival and growth and acceptance and all in a mere half-hour. Watch this series. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
Running Time: The vignettes vary between 3-1/2 and 12-1/2 minutes.Show
Advisory: Signs of death/dying, sexual innuendo.
“The Decameron” runs July 10 through July 31, 2020, presented by Synetic Theater, on a pay-what-you-can basis. For 10 days, three shows will be released each day. For more information, please click here.