“Borrowed Light, Letting Go” (1h, 10min) – The Nuyorican Poets Café, NYC, Borrowed Light Festival, Nov. 2018
“Borrowed Light” tells the story of a young girl who loves to dance, but is constantly haunted by her Fear and Ego. The performance was danced in a pas de trois, using a narrative structure similar to a haunted dream, accompanied by diverse genres of music, including classical, sounds of nature, J-Pop, ballads, tribal, and samurai movie film scores. One live musician played the spirit drum and native flute throughout the production. Every time he appeared on stage another chapter of the dream began, as if he was washing away the bad dreams.
The story begins with one girl (Shoko Tamai) who loves to dance, but has always been followed by her own Fear, played by Tony Ortiz, and Ego, played by Desiree-Vignon Vega. How does it feel to face your own ego and fear all the time? In the process, you are going to find dreams that play games with your mind, dreams from ancient times, and memories when you wake up that you aren't sure are really yours. How will it affect you? How will it affect the way you dance? How will your light and dark sides be revealed?
The production used the entire space of the Nuyorican Poets cafe, including the performance area and a balcony on the 2nd floor, taking advantage of all spatial dimensions to create a live performance that used stage weapons like the sai, ninja swords and kunai. We were fortunate to be able to camp out in the space for three months, allowing them to re-arrange the stage setting and use all 360 degrees of the space to create many surprises for the audience.
Borrowed Light was made possible in part with public funds from:
Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LMCC.net; additional in-kind support provided by the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Arts Japan 2018.