Snake Talk is created and performed by Abby Crain, Maryanna Lachman and Mara Poliak, with lighting design by Elizabeth Ardent and sound design by Samuel Hertz. In Snake Talk, the female subject remains slippery and undefinable within an aesthetic terrain of discomfort, excess and distortion. We are are dense, opulent, dazzling, awkward, seductive, repulsive, terrifying. We ooze, leak, wander, tie ourselves in a knot, rip apart at the seams. We have forgotten the difference between kissing and eating.
The structure of the work is predicated on survival and adaptation from underneath the dominant form. It is a diagram of the fissures, weaknesses, and gaps of the hegemonic framework. Snake Talk moves between streams of unmediated movement that ooze, leak, and wander. It abruptly halts and shifts direction, ties itself into a knot, and suddenly rips itself at its seams to make room for more performers. It does not resolve nor does it arrive at its destination. However, Snake Talk dares to suggest that it is exactly in this refusal to take a recognizable form that we create our most viable structures, and this excessive, subversive accumulation of more and more textures may be our best chance of “seeing (if only for a flash) everything at once: seeing whole” (Ursula K. Le Guin). Crazed, spinning, gasping and powerful, the female subject survives and transforms herself.
CREATURE HUMAN CREATURE HUMAN CREATURE HUMAN is a failing epic evening length dance spectacle, conceived by Abby Crain, that will be performed by the luminous Harold Burns, Mara Poliak, Maryanna Lachman, Olive Blackburn, and composer Samuel Hertz. CREATURE HUMAN CREATURE HUMAN CREATURE HUMAN lives in the liminal space that is shared by animals and humans. It is both too much and too little. It plays between disgusting excess and not enough. It is absurd, inappropriately provocative, and impossible to tear our eyes from. Dances move between barely legible and embarrassingly over-executed. The dancers are in heat, the dancers are desperate for nourishment, the dancers are looking for a home in a place where their habitat no longer exists, the dancers are shedding their antlers, their skin, and their fur. They are burying acorns in the ground in places they immediately forget. They are wondering why their friends are dying and disappearing, why the water tastes funny and is choked with algae. They wonder with a small part of their brain but then they hurry on to thrust their horns against another warm body and find their dinner.
Premiered at Omni Oakland Commons in 2015. Video here.