By Jane Vranish
Time took on a whole new meaning at the premiere of Maureen own life, in which she overcame a Fleming's "After Eros," sponsored by the Pittsburgh Dance Council last night at City Theatre.
The primary reason was Fleming's use of butoh, a Japanese art form that uses small, barely discernible movements to shape a dance. In ' Fleming's case, this meant slow movement that produced altered states of mind and body. It teased and seduced the senses via Fleming's extraordinary muscular contortions and David Moodey's superb lighting design.
So a 9-minute "fall" down a flight of stairs became a body virtually suspended in a slow-moving vortex. And Fleming's languid solo in a shallow pool became a reflection of the soul.
But Fleming was not content with magnetic charms in "After Eros." She created parallel universes in this work- One was obviously mythological, another politically or reality-based and the third spiritual.
The Greek myth of Eros and Psyche provided a loose framework. While touching upon the love between the two, it focused on the development of Psyche in a series of trials. This tied in with Fleming's childhood car accident and, later, self-doubt.
Message boards were located at both sides of the stage and relayed the information as well as posing questions. "Because I love Eros I labor." "Butoh is a state of mind." "Perhaps her transgressions will finally destroy her."
The message boards created the third universe. With a text by David Hwang, Tony award-winning author of "M. Butterfly " they leaped from Greek to Fleming to the political arena, where they mentioned Serbia, Bosnia and Palestine.
Granted, butoh is an art form born of an intensely political action, the bombing of Hiroshima. But the only relevance here might be the possibility that Fleming herself questions the world at large.
In the end, the best of all possible worlds lay within Fleming herself, a human landscape of great diversity: beauty and ugliness, delicacy and strength, body and spirit.