On Friday, November 30, 2007 I went to Amsterdam to meet my friends Taisha and Ashley to see David Weber-Krebs' "the words Jonathan said." Weber-Krebs is part of a group of artists based in Amsterdam called Association LISA: "LISA is a production facility of the independent dance and performance makers Nicole Beutler, Hester van Hasselt, Ivana Müller, Paz Rojo and David Weber-Krebs, and was founded in 2004." From what little I know of these artists, they seem to blur any strict boundaries between theater and dance. The performance took place at Gasthuis, which is a former hospital. "For more than twenty-five years the Benedictine monk Jonathan has suffered from a very special kind of epilepsy. Doctors now call his disease ‘prophesia’: to suffer from spells of prophecy. At first his case only raised interest within the medical community. Later it even caught the attention of some secret services" (more info here).
I wasn't well prepared to see the show; I wasn't feeling well and as a result had a hard time focusing, so pardon this extra-thin description. The work begins with amplified text and a darkly lit space. Slowly the performers are revealed, however rarely ever fully lit. There is a pool of light casting down on the center of the stage and the performers bask on the periphery in the dark, like shadows. They never speak and move slightly and slowly. The staging is precise and intentionally difficult to see. The work leads to a cyclical crawling on the floor, where each person tugs on the other. When it was over, it was hard to tell it was over. The work felt like a negative image of theater – elements normally bright are dark and vice versa.