Vesna's Fall (2014)
Conceived and developed by Lindsey Drury, You Nakai and Kay Festa
Premiere: February 3, 2014, Judson Memorial Church, New York
Performed subsequently at: Black Mountain College, North Carolina (April 5, 2014)
Performatica Festival, Cholula, Mexico (April 24 and 25, 2014)
Queens Museum (April 26, 2015)
Danced and Sung by: Laura Bartczak, Paige Fredlund, Kaia Gilje, Katelyn Hales, Molly Schaffner, Lindsey Drury, & You Nakai
Reapers in fall must first calibrate and celebrate their spring. In 1972, Vesna Vulovic fell from the height of 33,330 ft in an exploding airplane onto a frozen mountain side and lived to tell the story. This (mis)fortune, registered as the highest free fall a human being has survived, was brought by a nominal coincidence: Vesna was not scheduled to be on the flight, but had been mixed up with another flight attendant of the same name. Every Vesna shares her name with the springtime goddesses of Slavic mythology who lived in palaces atop mountains enwrapped in magic circles where they discussed the fate of crops and of human beings.
Objects and humans fall because of gravity's pull. Free-falling closed rooms, however, will preclude the local observer inside them from differentiating between gravitational pull and floating in non-gravity.
Singing and springing Vesnas, descending down each February from their palaces to the valley, could only be heard by certain people. Perception is absolutely local (like death). Rituals, names, or numbers may serve to secure the recurrence of common universal units-seasons and whatnot. In return they must obliterate particularities and forget the fact that they did so. No spring is devoid of sacrifices and the sacrificed must not survive. Gravity of numbers is only put to an end by the number of gravities.
* Additional Literature:
1. Review of the Queens Museum performance by Cody Eikman for Claudia La Rocco's Performance Club: Exchange Mechanism (June 2015)
2. Kay Festa's article based on the research conducted for this work:
3. Review of the project by Ellen C. Covito discussing its relationship to Rite of Spring:
Tokyo, Osaka, Kashiba, Bali, Lisbon, New York, June 2012-January 2014