“It’s almost like kindergarten in a way because we give ourselves full permission to just be in awe or repulsed by what we’re sharing.”
SoLow Fest begins soon and June 22–25, Mira Treatman and Irina Varina present Rejected Thoughts, a result of the performers’ exploration of what makes them vulnerable, joyous or angry. Through dance and dialogue they present the ideas they have labelled “rejected thoughts.” “It’s almost like kindergarten in a way because we give ourselves full permission to just be in awe or repulsed by what we’re sharing,” Mira told FringeArts. Mira and Irina, met at Headlong Performance Institute while studying hybrid performance making. They were paired to work on a provocation piece based on “found materials,” which they later performed at a FringeArts Scratch Night.
Their shared interest in detail-oriented work, getting to the bottom of things, and the resulting laughter has led to their continued collaboration beyond Headlong. Irina has a background in film, and Mira in dance-theater. They began Rejected Thoughts with a Headlong tradition—a constellation—a collection of objects they were curious about. “We would then share, talk, embody, investigate things from our constellations, and give each other provocations. For example, after watching videos that Mira brought of different vloggers talking about very personal things on YouTube, I asked her if she wanted to make a vlog herself,” Irina explains. Although Mira’s vlog didn’t go beyond a rehearsal room, this research became important along with the idea of convenient intimacy, DNA tests, a speculum, and old family photos from Siberia.
“I wouldn’t trade this fierce individualism for anything despite that it may take longer to get things done. We once spent three hours writing two sentences,” says Mira. The idea of “holding space” for each other by creating a safe place, giving complete attention, and no judgement is central to Mira and Irina’s work. Mira describes the process as “a combination of listening with empathy and calling out each other’s crap.”
At SoLow Fest, Rejected Thoughts will be performed in a South Philly home. The energy of the house, weather, and sounds from outside on any of the performance days will have their influence on the piece. “Staying true to the title of the piece, we won’t be ‘rejecting’ those but taking them in,” says Irina.
You can reserve tickets by emailing Mira at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a cat in the house at all of the performances. (A 30-minute excerpt from the show will also be presented at Dixon Place in New York on June 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets and info.)
Mira Treatman and Irina Varina at SoLow Fest
June 22, 24 and 25 at 7 pm at 2118 Reed Street, Philadelphia, 19146