as though your body were right

It is clear that the action of the thumbsucking child is determined by pleasure
Humans break themselves in like animals, which means to say, dressage
The body becomes a useful force only if it is both productive and subjugated
Destruction of trust in the world is equal to destruction of the self
That inside their boundless emotion all things may shudder with joy
I am talking about the cells and fluids witnessing themselves

-from the florilegium

A person is an emergent phenomenon arising from the cells that comprise them.
The cities and nations of humanity are an emergent phenomenon arising from these people.
How does the cellular speak to the super-organismic?
We are vulnerable to each other and we devastate each other because we are physical beings.
We have power – the capacity to act upon the world and upon each other – because we are physical beings.
Can we love what is thoroughly and simultaneously our power and our vulnerability?
Since infancy we have learned – been trained – to take the body not as a creature, a living mass, a grub, a baby.
But as an invisible screen upon which is projected a social persona, a horse to be ridden or a car to be driven.
Can we be just bodies together? Powerful and vulnerable, naked of the social? If we could, what would we gain thereby?

Jonathan is developing a new work driven by these ideas and questions. Research has been exploring what it would mean to choreograph the cells’ movement rather than the body’s; it has been reading, thinking, and writing about personal and systemic traumas including rape, torture, modern slavery, and child soldiering; it has been grappling with how these two areas of inquiry relate.

The work being imagined might look something like:
An audience of four in a room within a room
A micro-theater, a puppet theater
The performer’s body as landscape
Watching the cells of the body murmurate like starlings
A creature that would live on such a landscape
Crawling over it, flying over it
Calling it home

This is an evolving work. Artists contributing to the project are:

Jonathan Meyer – direction, choreography, & body performance
Sara Zalek – body performance & puppetry performance
Tom Lee – puppetry design & puppetry performance
Arden Lapin – puppetry performance
Amanda Maraist– body performance
Margo O’Connell – body performance & puppetry performance understudy
Lauren Kunath – puppetry performance development
Joe St.Charles – music & sound composition

as though your body were right is being created in tandem with Julia Antonick’s project Tend. These pieces are conceived as a performance diptych able to be viewed independently or as a double feature. They are being scheduled for provisional performances fall of 2022.

Photography – Ian Vecchiotti
Pictured – Jonathan Meyer

To find scheduled events visit our calendar.