Posted: September 19, 2006 in All and Sundry

reading my performance piece– beckett’s short play “rockaby” over and over again last night didn’t save me from the dumps i was in. and it didn’t help when i was informed to do an adaptation. come to think of it, the play is depressing. all these existential angsts came pouring in after reading the lines:

till in the end
the day came
in the end came
close of a long day
when she said
to herself
whom else
time she stopped
time she stopped
going to and fro
all eyes
all sides
high and low
for another
another like herself
another creature like herself
a little like
going to and fro

there is a kind of hypnotic feel to most of beckett’s works. rockaby is no exception. when you read the lines over and over, you suddenly are brought into the character’s world and it seems that you are speaking the lines in your mind.

to translate this into a movement piece is to become the character: this old woman rocking endlessly to and fro on her rocking chair staring at the window. but what is this character doing? is she really JUST rocking? what does she see outside the window?

all these questions reverberate. i look at this as a kind of sysiphian act–the rocking to and fro– except that unlike pushing the rock up the hill, the woman stays on just one spot, moving high and low, side to side, like a living dead.

can it be related to lacan’s concept of mirroring and desire? this looking out the window and seeing somebody who looks like you and seems to be unlike you?

and what is the motivation behind rocking endlessly? where does this desire to go on come from? or is this desire? after all, more often than not, we confuse desire with fantasy.

note to self: aaah, claire. if only movement just comes like the wind, then we don’t have to deal with absurdities that mirror our own truths.

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