Artistic director Shirotama Hitsujiya writes in the program about CANDIES-girlish hardcore, “If I become 75 years old, though it sounds commonplace, first, I’m going to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and forget my husband. Second, I am going to forget all about my children and pretend to be a 17 year old girl.” This is an intriguing and unsettling premise, and while the show does not quite live up to the thrill of this paragraph, its evocation of girlhood and growing old is a strong series of images that do not fail to provoke. A woman runs in place, spilling champagne everywhere until she falls down dead. Bright red backpacks and animal masks, skirts pulled up and down to hide breasts and reveal beautiful tattooed backs. Two ‘animals’ pull up the dress of one of their comrades and poke her while she squirms, a woman pisses pancake batter into an onstage griddle and then, once it cooks, calmly eats it with her friend. In the last scene— my favorite— all five women slowly strip down to g-strings and heels while smoking cigarettes and perform a surreal Godard-like dance number, and as the lights go down they extinguish their cigarettes on their heels to showers of sparks. This dance must have gone on for ten minutes, and something about the repetition of the sequence while these women slowly get more and more naked has stuck with me. There were some rough spots— the piece could use some tightening and trimming, the dance sequence could use a bit more rehearsing, and the scenes with dialogue dragged the momentum down—but at the end of the day, it’s so goddamned good to see a troupe of strong women performing together, claiming as their own the mantras of being a woman and owning the stage.
- Faith Helma
serena davidson photography Yubiwa Hotel TBA PICA Sept 9-06 image5902web
Artistic Director Shirotama Hitsujiya
photo: Serena Davidson