“Good Christ, we need new forms, new passions, new work, new ideas,” Con rails in Stupid Fucking Bird. “New forms of theater that can actually make you feel like living better or fuller or…more!”
Well. For the past five years, no one has done more to promote new forms, new passions and new ideas in theater than the Source Festival, which has sponsored collaborations between all sorts of presentational artists – theater artists, visual artists, movement artists, sound experimenters, puppeteers – in the hope of germinating something that is…different, and also compelling and natural.
And so it is this year. You walk up the twenty-seven steps to the small, white presentational space on the second floor, where you see the floor littered with paper plates. You step on them, and hear the sound of snow crunching, or…well, popped popcorn, to tell you the truth. In one corner, a woman – it is Ana Patricia Farfán, the movement artist – writhes in…maybe not agony, but she sure looks uncomfortable. The room is full of sharp, jagged, white objects. She is wearing a quilted jacket; what else she is wearing, if anything, is unclear to us. She puts ice down her chest and back. The sound of the wind and the sea surround us.
On the other side, the theater artist, Adi Stein, smiles broadly at us. “Hello” he writes on a big pad. We smile and nod (we’re very polite.) Then he asks for help. We look at each other quizzically. He begins to weep.
A few feet away from Stein, the visual artist, Megan Mueller interviews a boat (the U.S.S. Manassas). It is, I suppose, the usual interview – what’s your tonnage; how many people were required to make you; do you keep track of the fish you meet. We cannot hear the boat’s answers, though Mueller obviously does.
As with other productions of this ilk, I am moved to ask What’s It All About, Alfie, but in this case I know the answer – it’s about Lake Untersee, the full-length play about frozen emotions which uses an underground Antarctic lake as its central metaphor, and which will receive its debut tonight.
I’m looking forward to it – for, among other reasons, it will help to explain Momentum, Interrupted. As an independent work of art, Momentum, Interrupted, to be candid, leaves me cold. But as commentary on the full-length work, it might be exciting. So my recommendation to you is to see Lake Untersee first, and then see this work.
Momentum, Interrupted . An Artistic Blind Date from the Source Festival
Featuring Theater Artist Adi Stein, Visual Artist Megan Mueller, and Dancer/choreographer Ana Patricia Farfán, all of whom designed this piece collaboratively .
Running time: 20 minutes.
Produced by CulturalDC’s Source Festival .
Reviewed by Tim Treanor