Where is Home?
I went to the matinee performance of Dearest Home on my own, and I was lonely. The production, choreographed by Kyle Abraham and performed by his company Abraham.In.Motion, took place in my school’s Center for the Arts: two rows of chairs surrounded a white stage. We were offered earbuds—we could either witness the performance with music or in silence. At first, I was confused by this seemingly odd choice at a dance performance. After watching the show, though, this choice makes more sense: Sometimes “home” has sound, but sometimes we dance in silence. I chose to let the music guide me.
When thinking about the concept of “home,” I am primed to think of warmth and comfort. This is not the type of “home” that the Abraham.In.Motion dancers enact. They approach the stage as people, tucking in their shirts and looking us in the eyes. Some move alone in jerking motions, erratic. One circles the stage, weeping and making expelling motions with his body. A group of three tries to comfort each other, yet they find it difficult to avoid jealousy. Two people vibrate with each other, in love and in anger. Sometimes the dancers move in sync with each other, sometimes they don’t.
As the show progresses, the dancers shed their clothing. However, this loss of clothing is not empowering or sexy. The dancers are revealing their bodies, becoming vulnerable. With this stage, they create a “home,” but it is not one that is simple, comfortable, or even welcoming. Rather, the “homes” that they are creating are dynamic and complicated.
I could relate. It has been years since I lived with my family in the house that I grew up in. People have entered and exited my life. I’ve grown attached to different places only to move again. Abraham and his beautiful dancers seem to understand. Home is, after all, not always an easily located, coherent place. And at least we aren’t alone in this knowledge. --Sage Marshall
Sage Marshall '19 studies English at Wesleyan University. He is co-founder and editor of Reverberations. Follow him on Twitter @Sagafanta.
Performed at the Wesleyan University Center for the Arts
Choreography by: Kyle Abraham