Memoria Brassica, 2010
presented at the 2010 Source Theater Festival in Washington, DC
Collaborators: Karin Abromaitis, Kristina Bilonick, Tzveta Kassabova
Memoria Brassica is a piece about the deterioration of the mind and the essence of memory. Cabbages were used throughout the work to represent the brain. The piece, as a whole, is a metaphor for the chaos, then calm, and eventual darkness that comes along with memory loss, and more specifically, Alzheimer’s Disease. The three performers on stage represent one mind.
Throughout the performance, movements and imagery reflected the notion of struggling to preserve ones own memories. The theater seats were draped in cloth that extended onto the stage. Photographs and symbols were printed on the fabric covered stage and later cut out and strung on a line until the floors were bare. Solo dance vignettes were performed in the spaces on the floor.
One segment of the piece involved audience participation which served as a comic ‘release’ from the darker moments of the piece. Audience members were asked to locate the cabbages under their seats and participate in a group exercise routine.
The music in Memoria Brassica was choreographed by Aleksei Stevens. Layered with that was a series of ‘pings’ to audience-members’ cell phones — text messages they could opt into receiving during check-in. The sounds of people’s cell phones signified the loss of specific memories. Scientifically, memories are lost as the result of the loss of nerve cells in the brain, and the sounds coming from the darkness of the audience mimic this notion. Audience members received quotes from poets, authors and philosophers on the subject of memory.