michael j. morris


Red Monster

I started work on a new solo today. I’m not sure what it is for as far as its final presentation, but it is loosely inspired by Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, which is an interpretation of a myth written by the poet Stesichoros about a little red monster named Geryon who was killed by Herakles. The piece (I think) is a further exploration of shame and desire, themes that seem to make their way in and out of my work. It is thus far very Butoh driven, and has already brought me to my own edge of “grotesque.” After only one studio session, I’m both exhilarated and a little terrified. I may be asking more of myself than I can give (as a performer), but I’m also not sure it is the kind of piece that I want to translate onto another body, into another person. Beyond its literary inspiration, it is also a very personal question of my own monstrosity (it is synchonicitous that I am working on the “Monster Partitur” piece in two weeks . . . I don’t think this piece is asking the same questions or moving about the same subject, but there are common themes: monstrosity, the grotesque, the misshapen, etc.). 

From Autobiography of Red:
 “XI. RIGHT
Are there many little boys who think they are a
Monster? But in my case I am right said Geryon to the
Dog they were sitting on the bluffs The dog regarded him
Joyfully” 

I think I am questioning the grotesqueness of the body and of desire, the things that make me (us?) monster(s). Which is fitting into a larger question in my research concerning the recognition or construction of identity in/through movement, and how this process relates to dance as an art form.

I don’t think I have much more to say about this new piece yet, it’s still so new and raw and unexplained. But I just felt like I needed to write something about it, having just spent an hour in the studio working with it. 

I never know who’s reading, but if you are reading and feel like writing, I’m curious when you have felt like a monster, and what made you feel that way. If you care to share.

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[…] of the new solo I am choreographing entitled “Red Monster,” which I discussed in an earlier post. I am not sure when this piece will be premiered, but there is an adjudicated concert at OSU in […]

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