BY AARON STELLA FRINGE CORRESPONDENT Caged live canaries hang from the ceiling above an ominously lit stage; on the floor miniature electric trains thread through scattered piles of coal, winding and encircling and passing through tunnels. To the right side of the stage is Ivana Jozic, performer and partner choreographer to the interdisciplinary art-lion Jan Fabre. Clothed in a yellow sundress and cap, Jozic sits in a rocking chair and moves between kissing a suicide note and pressing it endearingly to her bosom. All this, and the performance hasn’t even started. As the performance begins, Jozic recites the suicide note, romancing the freedom one has when they choose the way they die. At the note’s conclusion, salacious jazz-rock and coal-miner blues blare from the speakers as Jozic commences a spasmodic, convulsive ballet, exaggerated with strenuous pantomime of the back-breaking labors of coal miners. At the end of the proverbial day, the now demonstrably exhausted Jozic cracks open a cold one dug out of the coal mounds, drinking herself into utter inebriation, which segues into another reel of wild gyrations and flailing body-heaves; and at times, moving her to act out sexually. In the duration of the play, the audience witnesses three days in the life of miner who’s on the brink of oblivion, enduring the strictures of conformity and the seemingly inescapable degradation of life in the working class. Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day is raw, yet somehow romantic, intellectually enthralling, and totally Fabre. Jozic is a marvel of emotionally expressive physicality from start to finish, and the score is top shelf. This is a must see.
What’s Good: Performer Jozic; the music, the set design (live canaries!).
What’s Bad: Although raw and visceral throughout, the suicide note includes a few trite embellishments that cheapen the gravity of the situation.