About the Grant

$35,000 to support How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (MAP 2010), is a multimedia performance that explores questions of loss, transcendence, and the essential human destiny of partnership, directed and choreographed by Ralph Lemon.

About the Project

How Can You Stay... is greatly inspired by Lemon’s eight-year creative relationship with Walter Carter, a former sharecropper from Bentonia, Mississippi. It is also influenced by Andrei Tarkovsky, whose mid-20th Century films reflect an obsession with past, present and future forewarnings of societal conditions: Where are we? How did we get here? And where are we going? In How Can You Stay..., the way forward is through human connection—the human destiny of partnership enacted on film by Walter and Edna Carter, and portrayed on stage by the designed, intimate relationships of an ensemble of extraordinary dancers: Djédjé Djédjé Gervais, Darrell Jones, Gesel Mason, Okwui Okpokwasili, Omagbitse Omagbemi, David Thomson and Ralph Lemon. How Can You Stay... arcs from difficult life transitions lived “outside of time,” through physical intensity that reaches a breaking point, to arrive at grief and its echoes and, finally, a physical representation of grace. In collaboration with designer Jim Findlay, Lemon has also created Meditation, a room-sized visual installation to be viewed as a companion to How Can You Stay.... Meditation reiterates the performance’s themes of love, loss and possible redemption, using greatly slowed film projection, light and shadow to create an immersive environment that distills the work’s emotions into a meditative experience.


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