They Contain Multitudes

Morris and Yokoshi Transform Material From Many Cultures

Yokoshi enters the small downstairs space at P.S.122 as a goddess demon—wild hair; red pasties on her nipples; a waistband that's both obi and corset; and, dangling from a skirt that alludes obliquely to male Kabuki costume, an immense, knee-length bush of pubic hair, which she strokes from time to time. While she dances slowly, twistily, occasionally lifting a knee Kabuki-style, the sound equipment manned by Dean Moss emits rumblings and cracklings; his video flames play over a rock. Occasionally, Yokoshi sinks into craziness, then, rising, again controls her body and face. It's a shock when a phone rings, and she says, "Could somebody get that?" This lonely hell queen talks to her mate on a carrot phone ("I miss you too"), while getting on about the business of creating the world from what she implies are rabbit pellets produced by her stuffed toy, Hiroko. As she casually tosses the bright-colored cotton balls, she calls out, "mountain," "river." Much later, she straps on a huge penis, as if to embody her male half.

The piece is punctuated by Moss helping Yokoshi change costume and the taped voice of a practitioner in the Netherlands, Daniella Derghof, interpreting Yokoshi's aura. In one scene, Yokoshi gambols about the shore like a ungainly child, bashing cotton balls with an immense fake rock, and finally sprawling back over it: an aunt who drowned. In another wonderfully imagined episode, Moss lowers a frail "boat" and Yokoshi, now dressed as the uncle whose photo appears on the back wall, climbs into it with a pole and re-enacts the boat's wild rocking and tipping, while we hear roiling sea slapping its gunwales.

The Mark Morris Dance Group in Something Lies Beyond the Scene
photo: Hiroyuki Ito
The Mark Morris Dance Group in Something Lies Beyond the Scene

The Dutchwoman's voice speaks soothingly of the male and female elements that, like the relatives Yokoshi channels, meet in her body's history, just as Izanami and Izanagi mated to create wholeness.

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