"I felt so completely and utterly moved by this piece and the women in it."
-Robin Reed, NYTheater.com
Satores, the professional tandem of Bulgarian director Petar Todorov & Slovene choreographer Gregor Kamnikar is arriving with a new performance, at their very best. Also this time with the Bulgarian performers Toni Pashova, Desislava Mincheva and Lyudmila Miteva excel in their exquisite performance. DELTA is a step further in their research in the field of the physical theatre with the means of the physical action. Delta is the end of river where its water meets the sea. Place where the known and the unknown meet. The performance Delta digs deep into a human being, spreads out at the very end of a river of life and peeks into a big unknown that inevitably awaits each and every being: the DYING. The action takes us in the time-space of the very dying, in the metaphysical ‘body’ of the human unconsciousness and into the travel through the border states of the human body and spirit.
Delta in a way continues their previous performance named Anatomy of Extreme exploring border situations of a (woman) body naturally ending by the death. With a quite ambitious and brave task to go closer to the death - to plunge into the sea where time, place or desire do not matter at all - Satores are wittier, more powerful, surprising. Voice of the death (if there is such thing) is similar to the voice of the ancient times. They both seem safely far from our life. And they both attract us with unspeakable and undescribable force that is compactly and clearly expressed in both mentioned voices. And even if we want to suppress this force coming up in us, we cannot. The force is simply stronger then our individual will. Because this force is coming from the source of life. It is the life itself. We are made of that force. So there goes third thing that we like to push away from the NOW. This very force. It is just too strong to live it fully. When we do live it, when we let it be alive through us, it feels like burning, like cleansing, like dying, like making love. All that together in a single moment. In that single moment we are everything we were, we are and will be. In that sole moment there is no other moment. We are consumed by the moment and living of this force. This consumption scares us. And asks too much awareness, too much relaxation, too much letting go. We want to be in control of our life. And we are. As well. Still this force leads and permeates us. What matters is the matter itself. This is no place and no time for prejudice and compromise.
The performance goes where we all want to go, but we do not succeed to go: to the very now. Because there is totality of everything at the same time. And we are scared to be consumed by and be aware of it fully. Does this feel like river finally reaching its goal in flowing into the sea in the delta? This is a question raised by this project, on human and artistic level. A place between life and death is a place of Delta where the performance takes off and levitates in the mid-air, suspended by actions of the performers. Though void of any concrete reference to the outside world, the performance is imprinted in every pore of the spectator. Satores did their best to reach that state and deliver the experience they had (or better to say - they are having). By the way, the whole thing sounds very much like the behaviour of the Higgs field in the quantum physics. Life is River, Death is Sea, Delta is Human.
The presentations of Delta have been made possible with the support of Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York and National Culture Fund, Sofia.
Robin Reed · September 20, 2007
A woman screams while running into the in-the-round space upstairs at La MaMa. She startles the program-sifting audience to attention, then stops in her place, catching her breath for what seems like forever.
A second woman runs on in a similar fashion. And a third enters, wearing only one shoe, lugging a large and cumbersome suitcase.
Thus begins Delta.
The second woman frantically implores individuals in the audience, "do you have cell phone?" Unsure of whether or not she was supposed to play along, the first sheepishly shakes her head. The woman tries again, to no avail. On the charming third time, a kind gentleman offers up his Blackberry, which the woman takes center stage to make her call. She speaks in what I assume was her native Bulgarian (I'm not at all familiar with that language, so I'm only guessing) and passes it to the next woman who does the same and passes it on, until they have all made their calls.
If you read the press blurb above the byline on this page, you'll see that the team behind Delta has tackled a hugely heady concept with this project. How does one translate the moment of death to the stage through movement? I must confess, I'm not sure I "got" the meaning behind the piece, nor was I able to follow the whole thing. I will tell you, though, that I felt so completely and utterly moved by this piece and the women in it.
The three women evoke and embody Mother-Maiden-Crone imagery, and they each glide through all three stages during the piece. They solo on their "moment of death," and though at times the long solos felt like a laborious movement-class exercise, each woman ultimately hits her stride. Here is the magic and the power of the theatre. A palpable intensity filled the room, and everyone, performer and observer alike, seemed to be on the same page. The layout of the space, with spectators on all four sides, allowed the audience to watch not only the performers, but also each other, which inexplicably added volumes to the evening. It turned a heavy, personal, and meditative moment into something to be shared with a room full of strangers.
The crux of the strength of the piece, though, lies in its women, and even to their staged final moment, their power is a force.