Just back from watching Atmospheric Studies, William Forsythe's new piece, at Sadler's Wells with bathtubgin. This was probably the second most difficult piece I've ever watched, only topped by the "Rosas Tanz Rosas" thing I saw at Meany Hall years ago (a third of the audience walked out). The theme was the Iraq war, and the three movements seemed to be thus: citizens are bombed and a man is arrested; a woman makes a missing person report; an American explains to a bereaved woman the "logic" behind this ("You guys don't know what you want anyway. You don't see what's right. We know what's right. If there's some stuff that happened that we didn't plan, well, that's not important. You've got to look at the big picture, about how something so much worse would have happened if we didn't do this."). The most disturbing bit was in the second act, when the woman started talking in this stretched out and modulated voice that was still somehow intelligible, yet for some reason very literally made me nauseaous. The final act was too loud, the building wired for sound as the people bounced off of its walls and slammed the door, the "lead character" making bizarre and painful utterations that were way too amplified into a microphone.
So painful, but not bad. I'm glad I went and I enjoyed the company. Afterwards we simply had to have a drink, so to the Red Lion we went and there was piles and piles of visiting. I find now I'm feeling tired and am still worn out from being sick but I'm pretty cheery. And I bought a t-shirt and a bag because, well, Sadler's Wells does their stuff in red and black and having only 2 t-shirts to my name has been galling.