7th Chakra – Pieces from the Vision Bell
presented by Cerulean Group at Performance Space Orlando • 3.8.1999
A compact but enthusiastic audience filled one of Orlando’s newest venues, greeting the new millennium in this performance of spoken word and movement. Jenna McCrae and Jason Moyer chanted and danced a series of poems, laments and screeds about life late in the ’90s. Tired of the rat race? Can’t keep that buff figure? Hair the wrong shade of blue? Don’t know where you’re headed? Neither are they – they’re just more eloquent, more rhythmic, and they do it with those cool little chem light sticks. The performance carves out a sense of space while carving out the heart of pre-millennium angst. In 30 minutes, they summarize the cynicism it has taken me decades to accumulate.
Jenna and Jason begin the performance with a syncopated reading that phases between Greek Chorus coherence and ‘what the heck are they saying?’ counterpoint. Each piece that follows is presented by one artist or the other, with the partner sitting quietly on their cinder block along the back wall, unobtrusive as possible under the circumstances. Occasionally there is collaboration, until the two rejoin for the final reading.
Stage preparation for angst-speak should be bare bones. A broken TV, the world’s smallest disco ball, and three cinder blocks are just enough props to support the action. Dance trance nuevo-disco blankets background. A black light near the ceiling makes everyone’s underwear glow. Best of all, the giggly audience keeps the entire reading from taking itself to seriously.
PSO is a minimalist space in a minimalist anti-art district that defines Orlando theatre. Even if the Wicked Witch of Downtown won’t admit it, interesting theatre and innovative performance don’t require a marble mausoleum. Abandoned record shops make exciting art, as long as creative people can rent them cheaply enough. Watch for these people around Orlando, particularly at Fringe Festival.