Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Endure - Run Woman Show

Early Friday afternoon I got the folowing email from my friend Tracy:

Subj: run woman show

Have you gone? No chance you're willing to go tomorrow morning, is there?

Hmmm. Run Woman Show? I had heard it mentioned on Twitter, but really had no clue what it was about. So I did what anyone in the 21st century would do, I googled it. 

Q. How does it work?
A. ENDURE is a performance in motion. The audience is issued an iPod prior to the start of the show. While listening to spoken narrative and original music in their headphones, both audience and performer move through multiple terrains-  city streets, public park space and trails. The performance is a mix of physical theatre, contemporary dance and pure running. The audience travels along with the performance and can experience it from any perspective they choose.
Double Hmm. So I'm actually part of the show? Well, I'm not really a big theater person, but I do have to run an easy 4 miles on Saturday...I hemmed and hawed about it so long, that Tracy told me I was going, no matter what.

Pre show...I thought Tracy was going to have coffee waiting for me!
So Saturday morning I got to the Old Stone House and met up with Tracy. We got our Endure "bib" (which I thought was kinda silly) and our iPods. It was pretty funny to have the guy leading us tell us to not touch any buttons on the iPod, and if we needed to change the volume he would do it for us. Totally reminded me of being on a school trip.

We left Old Stone House and headed up towards Prospect Park. I loved the feeling of being on an adventure....there was tons of mystery surrounding this performance piece, so neither Tracy or myself had any idea what to expect. On our walk up to the park we listened to a soundtrack created by Christine Owman, which was amazing. I was pretty skeptical that it was going to be any good, but it is definitely music I'd listen to again. It was neat that she just happened to be in town (from Sweden!) and joined us for this performance.

It's really hard to describe Melanie's performance piece. Endure draws a parallel between marathons and life, how we struggle, power through, and ultimately endure it all. Parts of it I didn't connect with, but I'd say a large part of it did. It was extremely well organized/choreographed/produced. There are parts that made you burst out laughing, and parts that made you uncomfortable and tears well up in your eyes. The ending was quite beautiful and extremely cinematic. I felt like I was inside a movie. Listening to Melanie's words, and Christine's etheral music while running through a grassy patch of Prospect Park with the sun shining down on me was probably my favorite moment of the entire piece. You feel involved, but because you're wearing headphones you almost feel isolated from everyone else (they don't discourage you from talking during the performance, but no one really said more than a word to each other)

I always find the group dynamic of a bunch of strangers interesting. None of us knew what was going on, or what to expect. Kind of like in the actual marathon. We're all in it together, but we each have our own story that brought us to the starting line.

The show is only running until Nov 6th (Marathon weekend!) so I would highly advise you to check it out before then! I definitely think this is perfect taper-time activity, and it'll surely be a reminder to most of us why we spent the past 6 months doing what we've been doing.

                                              Endure from Rachael Harrington on Vimeo.


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