"Arte Six - May 2004": Quick Hits: THEATRE: "Shut Eye"

“Shut Eye”
May 5-8
Culturally speaking, the theme of “what is reality?” has been explored so often in books, dance, music, theatre (not to mention film) that we might as well declare an international AltReality Day.

That way, we can all order a side order of “the color blue singing” with our cheeseburger-to-go at least one day out of the year.

Strangely enough, it’s the works that take a more hesitant step across the threshold of “what if?” that are actually more intriguing than a nosedive into the other side.

In “Shut Eye”, The Pig Iron Theatre Company explores what happens (if anything) when an accidental misstep takes you into a world that isn’t wholly new, just slightly...askew.

An odd, tightly choreographed series of vignettes, “Shut Eye” introduces us to a pair of newlyweds who fall asleep at their dinner table; an insomniac who finds herself trapped in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, and a woman who visits her brother in the coma ward, only to find him absorbed in a business meeting. Can you really be dreaming, when you’re wide awake?

Absurd but strangely affecting, “Shut Eye” takes the audience along to the quicksilver spot in time where surreality only makes sense because you’ve accepted the possibility that temporary illogic is the only logic you can use to translate the experience. Yes. Like that. Pig Iron call themselves a “dance-clown-theatre ensemble”, and they might actually be right.

“Shut Eye” is the answer to the question you ask while you’ve been drowsing off in the sun, only to wake up just enough to ask “am I awake?”.

Yes. But no. Never mind, go back to a half-sleep, where it all makes a strange kind of sense.
Find it: DTW - Dance Theater Workshop
219 W. 19th Street
New York NY, 10011
Get info: (212) 691-6500
Box office: (212) 924-0077

Read more dance + theatre news in the May 2004 issue of "Arte Six".