New York

Ellen Fisher

P. S. 122

In her new performance work, Dreams within Dreams: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, Ellen Fisher shows the influence both of Robert Wilson and of her frequent collaborator, Meredith Monk. Nonetheless, she succeeds in establishing a theatrical sensibility of her own. As the title of the piece would suggest, the atmosphere here is that of a dream. A TV monitor made to look like an oval Victorian portrait of a woman hangs on one of the walls and is just perceptibly moving. Two women, dressed identically in white linen nightgowns, enter the stage and proceed silently to mirror each other’s movement throughout the performance. They remain unseen by other characters, yet observe and react to them. Fisher underlines the eroticism of this dreamworld and its link to death, particularly in the roles of The Raven, The Black Cat, and Red Death. At one point, two Parlor Ladies are shown ingesting ether

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