Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hyena at La Mama


To tear away flesh, to feel the skin ripping as you turn your jaw to the side with teeth clenched, as you grip the bone and feel the leg pulled away from you, you’re hoping for delight.  You’re willing to ravage what is dead in order to not make its loss of life less important.  You enjoy its life in your mouth because you can, because you’re in control.  How much of our lives can we consciously control without factors in our subconscious telling us how to act?  What is ok for a woman to do, and why?  Can she be who she wants without judgement?  I fear not, because what men want, women typically will be forced to become.  Possibly that’s because nature winds a clock that counts down, or possibly its because the values of cultures steer different ships in opposite directions than a movement towards women’s independence.  Hyena was as graphic as its first scene where a woman, our woman, Romana Soutus wants nothing but to be let out of her cage, but she  must ask for help, or otherwise be given permission via lock and key, and we will allow her out.  So came the mini-pigtails, the open wound, the heaving breasts indicative of a sophomore’s get-up.  The subtleties of lilly white Americana flow throughout her work, as do her gyrations, see-through panties and attempts at tackling allegory via the Boy Who Cried Wolf, and a woman seeking to wear the mask of what eats Little Red Riding Hood.  In one moment, she’s awaiting her iron to heat up so she could ease the wrinkles out of her blouse, before damning the pores and seeds of strawberries to their last drop as its juice dribbles down her elbow, her arm, her armpit hair, her hips and to the floor.  Such frustration could make the tickle of liquid flowing down your elbow as meaningless as a compliment from someone you already know loves you.  Romana wants to make a point, and within her dialogue so much of what we yearn for is heard, but rarely does it get to settle.  There are lines of greatness that women deserve to tattoo on their biceps.  We want to be asked how we like to get fucked.  We want to know what she wants for the rest of her life.  She does an amazing thing, bringing us into a space, making us feel uncomfortable but invited, insecure but empowered, jealous but desperately seeking fresh air, and our lives, with the remote, and the less assumed weight of self doubt lingering on our careers and whether our deepest darkest everything will make for entertainment.  We live in double standards but perpetuating ignorance is innate in humans.  You cannot escape a tide, regardless of how hard you swim.  And as tide’s change, which I believe they are, Romana will find herself in a wave that’s crashing toward shore, but has with it the foam, the seaweed, the sandbar and the bruises that she can walk through life with.  Wearing those black-and-blues like medals which would have been earned in other ways as timing and fights and love will do to us all. This was a woman coming of age, ravenous and aggressively pursuing the dead so that someone alive would notice her, and the spotlight’s still shining, regardless of the bruises…after all, we like the bruises.

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