CAST MEMBER: Neil Ellis Orts
What Should I Tell You?
by Neil Ellis Orts
What should I tell you about working on Frameworks’s Productions Framing Bodies: Love Me?
I can tell you it’s scoop, carve, lift, choke, shake it off, shake it off, reach, slap, rebound rebound.
But I suppose that tells you very little.
There’s a lot to tell. There’s process and improvisation. There’s a plan with escape routes. There’s choices made with room for other choices to be made. There’s trust and ambiguity in the concrete abstracts.
To speak in generalities.
For me, in specificity, there is “ouch” at the word “relationships” and there is “hmm” at the writing prompts. There is clumsiness in movement and joy in movement. There is endorphin and lactic acid. There are memories of adult naivete and of childhood shame. There is the internal editor arguing with the internal artist, fighting over which will get to have final external say. There is the fiction writer confronting all the things that made him a fiction writer and not a memoir writer.
Perhaps I’m overly sensitive to the fact that my story is not only my story. Revealing some things about my love life (whether familial love, romantic love, friendship) reveals some things about those I would love or who would love me. I’m overly sensitive to how unfair it is for me to have a forum for telling my side while their side remains untold.
But it’s not the destination but the journey, right? Except in art making, it’s a little of both.
So I go to rehearsal, I do my best to look at the places that I’d rather you didn’t see, and somehow translate that into a fraction of this project. Making art, I was once told, was mostly learning how to look. In this case, Lydia is asking us to look at ourselves, at our relationships, at the “ouch” the “hmm” and “oh!”
Two weeks before we shoot, it appears we have a good shot at making something beautiful.
But I really don’t know what to tell you about it right now.
Except that it’s scoop, carve, lift, choke, shake it off, shake it off, reach, slap, rebound rebound.
Get your tickets at framedance.org/boxoffice.
Lydia Hance is a recipient of an Individual Artist Grant Award. This grant is funded by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Frame Dance Productions’ Framing Bodies is funded in part by the Puffin Foundation. Frame Dance Productions is a recipient of a Rice University Dance Program Space Grant.