Through the evening, I continued to catch myself analyzing the implied relationships, sometimes sexual, other times primal, between the dancers.
Why is dance, why are these exact relationships we were witnessing, the mediums Cerrudo chose to discuss the abstract concept of time?
I began to string together a personal theory through the motif of the blue lights. Performance is a form of an ultimatum dictating how an audience spends their time. We have the agency to choose to be anywhere at any moment, but surrendering our will to a performance demands our attention and controls our thoughts.
In the final moments of the piece, as a performer shook the Marley from a downstage corner creating a surreal ripple effect around the dancers, I sat in awe of the genius use of a conventional space. As I attempted to fathom how this was technically possible, I finally remembered that about twenty minutes earlier a silhouetted dancer had subtly and slowly untaped the Marley downstage, perhaps yet another way Cerrudo cleverly inserted his voice as if to play with the cause and effect of an action not occurring sequentially in time.
As the piece ended where it began, the dancer rolled back up inside the Marley on an empty stage, Cerrudo and the cast was greeted with an enthusiastic and immediate standing ovation.
Discussion of the performance with my plus one continued through the duration of our dinner: he had noticed a sound of wood creaking and sand filling in which reminded him of a coffin, a sound which I had not picked up on. He noticed it not quite at the end of the piece, but close to the section where Srivastava danced with his bare skin underneath the bowler hats projecting blue lights, that evoked a sensation of rebirth for both of us.
I decided two things: the first, in response to the creaking noises, that it could potentially be yet another layer tucked into the masterpiece echoing the cyclical yet non-linear nature of the performance and order of life; the second, the fact that I didn’t pick up on this detail that was so central to another person’s interpretation of the choreography means that I could re-watch It Starts Now many times over and would never have the same experience with it.
For Cerrudo to produce such a luxuriously rich and intellectually complex work with infinite interpretations within a harmonious 65 minutes means this isn’t the last we’re seeing of his full length works.
I declare to run, don’t walk, to catch the show at The Joyce before October 3rd, as the rise of Cerrudo’s spellbinding full-evening repertoire of choreography is starting now.