By Marcina Zaccaria
A plaintive, subtle presentation, Everything Starts from a Dot is much more than a shape study or a deconstruction of a painting. With Concept & Design by Nekaa Lab/Sachiyo Takahashi, this show finds truth in ordering.
A grey dot jumps and glides along a long line. Dipping down and rising up, it follows its own trajectory. Great images could be found with a bit of grey and a long string of black, and this screen driven drama relies on our ability to appreciate the abstract. There is color – red, yellow, and black. The concept is inspired by a quote from Wassily Kandinsky. With triangles, circles, and amoeba like shapes, we find that meaning happens slowly. The composition relies on magnification, and it tests our sense of scale.
To add to our understanding, there is music. And, at it is at La MaMa ETC, great sounds often follow. This show is no exception. Electronic, sometimes percussive music, surrounds the drama. Clear tones sound like tuning forks. The light, bouncy melodies create a serene environment.
Puppetry festivals often rely on strings, and while so many people are accustomed to seeing figures with faces, Everything Starts from a Dot is really more like a meditative, sculptural type of performance art. Silver objects are lifted with pulleys, sparkling sand-like material drops from the air. A large, black dot is rolled across the stage. It never really feels whimsical. Instead, it’s more like a serious exploration of time and space, in an effort to see what can be found by shape shifting. Where is the coordination of the audience imagination with the images onstage?
With repetition being a central technique, the dot appears and re-appears throughout the show. At the end of the performance, the dot reveals the audience, appreciative of the spectacle that has unfolded in front of them. Contented, they see each other, in the empty space, where there was once only a dot.
Everything Starts from a Dot ran through November 10 at La MaMa ETC, located at 66 East 4th Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenue. It was part of the La MaMa Puppet Series, running through November 25