BY AARON STELLA FRINGE CORRESPONDENT In Stuporwoman, the audience is equipped with a hypersensitive stethoscope, and is asked to press it against the bosom of a mother and to listen closely. Together with an interdisciplinary troupe of performers, director and choreographer Tania Isaac renders the over-scheduled soul of a mother beleaguered by relentless cooking, cleaning, baby raising, and the unsatisfied want of a full night’s rest. The choreography riffs on the household duties of motherhood (one particularly memorable gesture was an exaggerated scrubbing motion; another was this slow-motion gait that was seductive, but pinched ). An eclectic score evokes a world of emotions, at times swinging wildly between chaotic atonality and jubilant arias. Amid the ceaseless continuum of dances, the audience is presented with the inner monologues of the mother matter-of-a-factly telling of her tales of woe and how she makes light of her strife. The minimal sets and props afforded the performance a stark, haunted quality. But the real enchantment came from violinist Monique Canniere’s mastery of her instrument, and powerful contralto Chanta Layton. Stuporwoman is an accomplished work that could have used a little more aggressive editing in the pursuit of consistency. This is a minor quibble, though. Layton’s singing, however, is absolutely otherworldly, as potent as it is cathartic.
What’s Good: The unique choreography; Layton and Canniere; witty writing; moving music.
What’s Bad: Sometimes unnecessarily long dances.