When I saw the oversized, rectangular dominos interspersed among the chairs lining up your aesthetic.‘s circular stage, I knew that this was surely an omen for an up-close and personal performance!
Featuring Jess Cummings, Constance Des Marais, Katherine Paterson and Cheyanne Williams, up your aesthetic. is a dynamic and striking retelling of the Greek Myth of the Amazons. The four performers utilize an assortment of props, words, songs and movements to portray the ancient story in an original and intriguing way.
Before delving into the Amazonian myth, the performers took some time to contemplate the immortalized words of ancient philosophers and current politicians. A diamond-shaped visual, composed of four triangles, inhabited the center of the floor, with phrases and images scribbled across the flat surfaces.
Whether the words were originally delivered by Aristotle or Rush Limbaugh, the overarching message was plain and almost distressingly daunting. All the curated quotes managed to disregard a woman’s abilities and subdue her strength, claiming women to be weak, their worth solely measured by how they serve their male counterparts.
up your aesthetic
closes July 29, 2018
Details and tickets
This unexpected introduction laid the groundwork for a new perspective on a timeless story. The proposed viewpoint reconsiders the escapades of the epic hero Heracles and begs the question: what about his victims? How do we remember the Amazon women?
In Greek mythology, Heracles, the son of Zeus, was required to complete twelve labors to make up for his past mistakes. One of the twelve tasks challenged him to obtain the girdle of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons.
The Amazons were a proud coalition of women warriors, gifted in the art of warfare and blessed with both intellectual and physical durability.
In up your aesthetic., each domino originally placed in the hands of audience members represented an Amazonian warrior. The storytellers built up chains and towers with the dominos, depicting the great society these ancient women diligently worked to create. With abrupt devastation, the structures were knocked to the ground, symbolizing the close bonds the ancient women had to each other, and the utter destruction Heracles generated due to his own ambition.
The willful and pointed execution by each performer is what makes this show so exceedingly powerful. These four strong women tell the Amazonian story with passion and razor-sharp focus. Their awareness of their bodies and voice presented an unwavering self-assuredness, similar to what the Amazon women must have exhibited long ago.
The definitive confidence of the performers was invigorating to watch. Even while describing how the Amazonian civilization crumbled under the weight of Heracles’ thirst for immortality, the performers maintained a muted yet undeniable strength.
In the end, the storytellers erected a sort of shrine to the warrior women who were lost. On the once demoralizing diamond, where before the words of sexist men were written, the performers invited the audience to instead write down what makes them feel powerful and inspired.
The parting message generated by this final, interactive segment was a beautiful one: washing away the beliefs of old to give birth to the hope of the new.
up your aesthetic . Conceived by Glass Attic Collective Artists . Featuring Jess Cummings, Constance Des Marais, Katherine Paterson, Cheyanne Williams . Presented at Capital Fringe Festival 2018 . Reviewed by Arielle Ostry.