nytheatre.com review by Robin Reed
September 20, 2007
A woman screams while running into the in-the-round space upstairs at La MaMa. She startles the program-sifting audience to attention, then stops in her place, catching her breath for what seems like forever.
A second woman runs on in a similar fashion. And a third enters, wearing only one shoe, lugging a large and cumbersome suitcase.
Thus begins Delta.
The second woman frantically implores individuals in the audience, "do you have cell phone?" Unsure of whether or not she was supposed to play along, the first sheepishly shakes her head. The woman tries again, to no avail. On the charming third time, a kind gentleman offers up his Blackberry, which the woman takes center stage to make her call. She speaks in what I assume was her native Bulgarian (I'm not at all familiar with that language, so I'm only guessing) and passes it to the next woman who does the same and passes it on, until they have all made their calls.
If you read the press blurb above the byline on this page, you'll see that the team behind Delta has tackled a hugely heady concept with this project. How does one translate the moment of death to the stage through movement? I must confess, I'm not sure I "got" the meaning behind the piece, nor was I able to follow the whole thing. I will tell you, though, that I felt so completely and utterly moved by this piece and the women in it.
The three women evoke and embody Mother-Maiden-Crone imagery, and they each glide through all three stages during the piece. They solo on their "moment of death," and though at times the long solos felt like a laborious movement-class exercise, each woman ultimately hits her stride. Here is the magic and the power of the theatre. A palpable intensity filled the room, and everyone, performer and observer alike, seemed to be on the same page. The layout of the space, with spectators on all four sides, allowed the audience to watch not only the performers, but also each other, which inexplicably added volumes to the evening. It turned a heavy, personal, and meditative moment into something to be shared with a room full of strangers.
The crux of the strength of the piece, though, lies in its women, and even to their staged final moment, their power is a force.