third before last

I have not so much to say today, even being aware what i wrote yesterday is somewhat cryptic; I lost my thoughts part way through and today my eyes sting and I feel enough of exertion has been done that writing is an obligation, mere words to fill blankness when blankness feels insufficient.

We, Gala, Dasniya and I left the theatre in the evening, found our way to Mokka for coffee (very good, best since the kleine Schwarz in Café Prückel), meandered to the bike shop (gloves! this morning my fingers were cold to aching, so much for being unflappable mountaineer), bio shop for peanut butter and chocolate, then to 唐人街, nearer the opera. Uh! fried puréed white radish cakes, the best 炒鴨湯麵 (gah, writing traditional chinese causes even more eye-sting) I’ve had in aaaaages (still the idea you can make duck noodle soup with those kinky instant noodles instead of hand-stretched mian is just buh). I slurp anyway. I don’t think I know how to eat what was my staple lunch in Guangzhou without mouth noise.

I bike home. As ever, my tiredness abates for the duration of the ride, a mere 5km, but the uphill at the end is a nail of a full-stop to finish the day.

Earlier, warming up, then hair, makeup, hair. We are in white wigs. It takes about 45 minutes to do the whole thing, pinning the hair back, encasing it in a stretchy net, pinning that all down, encasing that in a wig and pinning it all together, in-between painting my body, crotch and all with a white body paint I am developing a strong dislike for. The problem is my skin is very sensitive, and this paint has alcohol in, which dries the skin and coats the ropes in a powder, drying them out also. Together, instead of being able to move in the ropes, a sliding of rope on skin, the rope bites in and takes with it the top layer of skin. Yes, I got upset with this after the run, feeling claustrophobic, like all the good stuff we did in rehearsal yesterday, the ease I found was shoved under concrete.

I also feel somewhat peculiar in this ‘nakedness’. Perhaps it is the tendency for contemporary dance and performance to be concerned with the authentic, often in one sense or another being autobiographical, directly or through an exposition of particular interests, and I would really feel more comfortable being completely naked (despite my deeply unsettling dream last night – we all seem to be ensnared in nightmares), than in this artificiality in which I feel encased in but separated from my own surface.

On the other hand, from the audience it looks … beautiful? It seems to be affecting people a lot. Today the run of the second act felt the best yet. Jorgos is really gaining mastery over all he has to do – and he is busy running around ceaselessly – and it became today that I could let him get on with it without meddling. His yanking me off the floor from lying to almost hanging is working very well and has a certain brutality on the flesh I like (and in anticipation am afraid of, and like the fear), getting me all tied up and spinning also. Again, my memory of it is both complete and absent; when I think too closely on it, I remember only instances.

Hanging, testing movement, thinking of what Gala said, mouth soft, eyes buddha-open, moving from between my legs, or from the cramping of toes, finding places to relax and let go, other finding of places of tension and endurance, enjoying very much being winched up to three or four meters above the stage, ah! higher! it is a delight, and of course with every intensity for which I find a fondness, I want more. Imagine, torso netted in ropes, arm bound behind small of back, knee and ankle caught, one leg folded and bound, a snare that takes me more than twenty minutes to loose myself from, this and then to be taken up to near the arch of the proscenium … with Anna, Tomas singing, the orchestra, that would be a thrill.

Tomorrow we do it all again, this time running all the acts in order. I have nothing special to say, Andrew says more and finding the production from his side as well as ours helps me find something of a belonging in it. Tomorrow I collect my book of Wagner. Doctor Who? Yes!