On January 23, on the Dixon Place Queer Text: Rainbows Across the Diaspora series, curated by Philip J. Ammonds, poetic writers and performers Tadeusz von Moltke, of Q News, and Linda LaBeija probed rituals—of life, lust, pain, dance, and death—in dramatic readings of their emotional works.
Tadeusz gave us a tantalizing slice of his poetic novella “The Hollywood Adriana: A Cautionary Tale of Damaged Good,” dedicated to the memory of early film star Ramon Novarro, and revealed the ritual nature of incidents in the life of protagonist Rupert. We experience intimate encounters with boys, and ensuing losses, during Rupert’s childhood; a later episode, to strains of classic Spanish guitar music, with a self-mutilator; and, finally, the death scene Rupert stages for himself, with allusions to those of Novarro, complete with murderous hustlers, and of historic Comédie-Française actor and Italian operatic heroine Adrienne/Adriana Lecouvreur. Theater and film’s iconic Sarah Bernhardt and composer Hector Berlioz put in appearances here.
Interdisciplinary artist Linda offered us three poems, in transition from spoken word to musical works, and informed by ritual as well “Love Wins” (working title) looks at the nature of love, a breakup, and the inequality of partners’ contributions to a relationship. In an unnamed piece about dancing, with the recurring line “I don’t dance anymore,” she shares the feelings of a transgender woman during African dance class, with rigidity of roles and rules. And in “Skins,” she discloses the conflicts, the issues of intimacy and trust, in an encounter with a perhaps essentially hetero man. Bruno Mars and Madonna are names we hear here.
Dixon Place is located at 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey Streets. Visit www.dixonplace.org
for information about programming.