By: Paulanne Simmons
May 28, 2021: For the past year, most of us have been taking refuge in our homes. Now that we’re at last venturing out, it seems like a perfect time to explore the many meanings of home. Tiffany Mills Company’s “Home Project (excerpts-in-process)” celebrates the home through video, dance, music and spoken word. The performance is now streaming as part of LaMaMa Moves! Dance Festival on Demand.
“Home Project (excerpts-in-process)” is a work in five acts. These acts take us from conversations backstage (a kind of home for actors), to reflections on the table (the centerpiece of many homes), to the stories of people who create and inhabit homes (where homes become “complicated.”)
Sometimes the subject is treated with humor: we are advised not to use the table as a battering ram, or we see only the feet of a dancer emerging from pajama-clad legs. Sometimes the text becomes nostalgic: a woman remembers watching “The Wizard of Oz” with her grandfather, who as an orphan knew very well the significance of the phrase “There’s no place like home.” Sometimes we hear intensely personal stories: a man remembers how his father, who lost his mother at a young age, kept searching for a home, or a mother wonders if she banged the table she inherited the same way her children do.
The movements are fluid, expressive and sometimes athletic. They work seamlessly with video, music and text. Although parts of the show were created in individual homes due to the pandemic, the collaborative team (composer Max Giteck Duykers, dramaturge and editing advisor Kay Cummings, videographer Theo Cote, lighting designer Chris Hudacs, and performers Mills, Jordan Morley, Nik Owens, Emily Pope, and Mei Yamanaka) performs with organic unity, making all the parts fit together like pieces of an exquisite puzzle.
The word “brilliant” has two definitions. The first is “radiant,” and the second is “intelligent.” Happily, “Home Project (excerpts-in-process)” is both. The evening-length work will premiere in 2022, which gives us all something to look forward to
“Home Project (excerpts-in-process)” will stream live from the Ellen Stewart Theatre Saturday, May 22 at 7pm: https://www.lamama.org/shows/tiffany-mills-company-home-project-excerpts-in-process.
Photography Credits: Robert Altman @robertaltmanphotography (Copyright 2021).