'Butter Melts Away My Letters' at La MaMa's

Thu 20 Jan 2005 'Butter Melts Away My Letters' at La MaMa's Butter Melts Away My Letters a dance theater work with multimedia, conceived and directed by Gian Marco Lo Forte and choreographed by Stephanie Rafferty, plays at La MaMa's First Floor Theater from the 10 - 27 Feb 2005 In Butter Melts Away My Letters a dark dance theater work conceived and directed by Gian Marco Lo Forte, choreographed by Stephanie Rafferty, a group of young friends (male and female) run away to New York City and hustle to make a living. They live in and share a two-floor loft space in the city; every night they open their house to new clients. After a night of sex-for-hire, early in the morning they get together around the kitchen table and talk and dream of other possible lives. But memories and dreams from their past come back. Lo Forte describes it as "a play about the discovery of sex, lost love and beauty as the fool's game that actors play." The movement-based production is a sequence of memories and flashbacks to childhood, intended to illustrate the experiences that prefigured the characters' falling into this kind of life. It is told mostly from the point of view of a young transvestite, played by Chris Wild, whose voice-over with his remembrances underscores about a third of the play, mixed with occasional narrative from two other characters. The people of the play are meant to embody universal lives, so there are some conceptual twists, for example: in the character known as "the client," a closeted homosexual (played by Julia Martin), there is a woman playing a married man. The story of Butter Melts Away My Letters" is conveyed through overlapping fragments of dialogue, monologues and short dance and movement sequences. The playscript by Gian Marco Lo Forte, rendered mostly in voice-overs but occasionally spoken live, is intertwined with music by Stefano Zazzera -primarily disco dance music manipulated with distortion, whispers and sounds - and extensive video by Angela Serra. Choreography by Stephanie Rafferty is frantic and energetic, reflecting primarily modern dance styles and amply influenced by the club scene. Costumes are designed by Denise Greber. The piece has been developed collaboratively with its cast of six dancer/actors. The performers are: Valois Mickins, Julia Martin, Chris Wild, Allison Hiroto, Chris Mehmed and Marissa Lichwick. This is the second La MaMa production written and directed by Gian Marco Lo Forte and his second collaboration there with choreographer Stephanie Rafferty. In 2003, they adapted Checkhov's 'The Seagull'.

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