Hardcore science says that every time you do something there’s a ripple of after-effect that goes on into infinity forever—that means anything, from meditating on a butterfly to stepping in dog shit. Philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff, who found some secrets to the universe in integrating Western ambition and Eastern beliefs, plus Egyptian Christianity that pre-dated Jesus (did that one melt your mind?), put this branch of science onstage and created a ballet for it.
Called The Struggle of the Magicians, it’s designed so the dancers’ movements mimic the movement of the celestial bodies to remind the human body of divine law and to invoke ancient wisdom. So explains esoteric artist Eliza Swann, who became obsessed with this idea and created a performance for the Bride of Fire dance troupe based on this principle. “The choreography led me deeper into notions of performance as communal transgression,” she says. “How can bodies push the Earth in a new direction? How can the artists/magicians use their bodies to struggle toward brightness?” It starts with scraping the doo off your shoe, and yes, that’s a metaphor. Go do something useful for your life and see this. It’s free.
The Struggle of the Magicians
Sunday, January 8, 2012, 7 to 9 PM
At the Living Theatre, 21 Clinton Street