Last Tuesday evening the lobster and the canary were utterly spell-bound by Epyllion, a pan-human creation myth told through dance, wordless song, gesture, and puppetry. Written by Lindsay Abromaitis-Smith and Emma Jaster, a.k.a. The Aeolian Theatre, with music composed by Akie Bermiss, Epyllion was staged at the experimental performance space HERE in Soho (NYC), as part of their Dream Music Puppetry Program.
Click now more on HERE and the Aeolian Theatre.
Abromaitis-Smith and Jaster, with fellow dancer/actor/puppeteers Cory Antiel, Sophie Nimmannit and Matt Pearson, took us to the Ur-Place, where the Moon first rose, when the People first understood themselves and the world around them. Without artifice or preciousness, the players (including the musicians Bermiss, Zach Dunham, Kyle Jaster, Emmanuelle Lambert-Lemoine, and Rachel Menyuk) skeined back to the flickering rhythms of the cave-paintings at Lascaux and Altamira, the "cave of the hands" in the Pinturas River Canyon of Patagonia, the scenes on the walls of the Apollo 11 cave in Namibia. Back to Dreamtime in Arnemland, Australia.
Looming and swooping throughout the story was the Great Mother, handled with great suppleness by the puppeteers. Cryptic, fearsome, forgiving by turns...a Venus-of-Willendorf figure who towers over the puzzled little male puppet.
The crouching stag confronts the Mother... the males and the females circle each other warily, but find their way to union...waves and surges, with animal horn and the sickle moon...
Epyllion delves into the song and the movement at our collective core. The Aeolian Theatre troupe is young, exuberant, inventive, with a very bright future...the lobster and canary look forward to following their work. HERE did well to select them for its artist-in-residence program.
P.S. Kudos to the superb light and stage design & direction-- the lighting was a performer in its own right in Epyllion.