Head Over Heels and Away
nytheatre.com review by Steve Chasey
August 15, 2004
Head Over Heels and Away focuses on, as so many performances do, an exploration in introspection. While the variety in this type of performance usually comes from the content under examination, Mita Ghosal and Kron Vollmer instead attempt to change the entire method of searching. They define their personal introspections through projection, taking the inside events of a life and casting them out into the world in their most extreme manifestations. The pair of performers alternate scenes onstage in self-created pieces, in which they present us with (among other things) an Oakley-clad dancing cow, a country whose borders are defined by Vollmer's body, lofty plastic high heels, handcuffs, gold-sequined dresses, Jewish Yoga; in essence, an entire rowdy circus of the mind tossed onstage in the form of dance and dramatic monologues.
Ghosal's performances embody this approach in their widely varied themes. Her constant costume changes, from business suit to cow, are only the physical markers of the ground she covers. Her dances strike out at the audience, not only because of their variety but also their content. In the first half of the show, Ghosal uses voiceovers and monologues to emphasize her themes, yet the dances stand alone, and the additions only distract the audience. Fortunately, Ghosal’s performances in the second half drop the voiceovers and focus solely on the dance.
Vollmer posits herself as a country called Mykronesia, containing diverse populations and ethics, though her adherence to that idea trips up the overall effectiveness of her performance. For example, in discussing self-mutilation, she holds court over whether or not burning her arm could be held up as genocide to a part of Mykronesia's population—Vollmer seems to get more involved in the actual creation of her metaphor than in explicating what the metaphors stand for. The rest of her monologues, though performed with sincerity and evocative emotion, suffer from a similar pitfall.