Journey to the Center of the HEART

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It is so easy to make a judgment based on visuals – a picture in a gallery is subjective per the eye of the beholder. But how about an actual stage with sets, performing actors, music, dialog and other mixed elements that elevate you to the next level of what is considered a hybrid of art? How does one navigate various components all at once?
 
TheaterLab hosted a multi-media art performance that fits very well into that category. Arte Fuse attended the first night of the show last February 22, 2012 at the venue located in 14th Street. The piece was entitled “Heart-Wommmen-3” and the visceral theme is the heart coupled with love that comes with its complexities. Notice that the M’s are tripled. I took it as the three principals in the show: Man, Maiden, and Muse. The stage is set with knitted knots of rope that resemble ventricles and intricate blood vessels hanging from above and at the center mass lies the heart. A diaphanous box is the central structure where characters could come in or exit on either sides. The two distinct sections feature an encapsulating knitted rib cage on the left and the deep-seated part where the heart is settled on the right. Video is projected in time at the background with music on the different acts. The text is based on the poem “Femme” by Christian Rullier and on the artwork made by Jacques Perdigues, who painted a growing network of heart valves and vessels pumping life into the canvas.
 
The Man starts off being caged into the knitted skeletal rib cage on the left as the Woman or Maiden knits to symbolize creation on the right. As the dialog was layered with recorded and actual spoken verses by the actors, it intersperses between English and French. The excerpts of the poem are steamy and exploratory on the nuances of the primal, biological and mystical thrusts of the heart. All throughout the piece, the heartbeat serves as the pulse to move the action along. The haunting Muse comes in to gloss over the raw emotions and through melodious song guides the journey, which transcends when the male and female collide in the middle that leads to the push and pull dynamic that drives the story home. In the end, man switches place with the woman. He sits settled ready now to love as the woman binds everything unto herself as the guardian of his heart.
 
In the matters of the heart, it is complex and as deep as the ocean. For the 55 minutes, you will be taken into the inner places and journey different chambers till you begin to understand yourself what makes your own heart tick.
 
“Heart-Wommen-3” Conception/Direction by: Jacques Perdigues
Performed by: Jacques Perdigues. Julia Wilkins. Nanette Stanley.
Engagement run: February 22 – 25, 2012. 8 PM start time. $15 tickets.
TheaterLab. 137 West 14th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.) New York, NY 10011.
 
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan

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