“It is like watching a trapped animal struggle, the sheer force of that nonverbal holding-on. I can’t tell the direction of the energy—whether she is taking or giving. I try to offer her some of mine so she can keep going, but I don’t know if she wants it. In that moment, I experience being as an active state. Finally, after years of graduate-school discussions that yielded only vague explanations, I understand the meaning of ontology.”
Jaime Shearn Coan, The Brooklyn Rail
“How will they get themselves out of this? I kept wondering that … and not because I wanted it to end. This marathon of a dance enmeshes the dancers so wholly in doing, doing, doing that you can’t imagine them being done. It’s like watching people live, right in the thick of passing time.”
Siobhan Burke, The New York Times
“Their dance appears to obliterate thought.”
Rennie McDougal, Culturebot
To Being is a choreography of persistence in the heart of jeopardy and precarity: the body continues in ongoing change, relations transform, meanings proliferate and fade.
A companion work to Durning’s acclaimed solo performance practice, inging, To Being is based on the decidedly chosen practice of nonstopping — always moving absent destination— always becoming, never arriving.
A psychosocial experiment, To Being opens to a landscape where radically divergent desires converge and empathy unfolds.
To Being is dance as both ontological inquiry and homage, a force against the absolute, the nameable.
To Being is a composition of endurance, a sonata of devotion.
To Being is an unending search for an imperative relationship to movement in which dichotomies between self and other, material and immaterial, thought and action, incessantly dissolve.
But more than anything else, To Being asks: What’s at stake? Where’s the end? How can we give more when all we feel is that we’ve met our limit?
Created by Jeanine Durning with Julian Barnett and Molly Poerstel. Directed by Jeanine Durning. Performed by Julian Barnett, Jeanine Durning, and Molly Poerstel. Sound by Tian Rotteveel. Lighting by Joe Levasseur.
To Being premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater, NYC, September 2015.
All photos above by Alex Escalante