Because I Can
‘Because I can’ are undoubtedly choreographer Eva Recacha’s three magic words. On the empty stage, the statement turns into a leitmotiv as performer Lauren Potter’s repeatedly stresses the words in different tones. In this dance solo, voiceover and live speech are mainly performative. Stream of conciousness guides Potter’s body through a flow of movement, creating an unapologetic and intimate synaesthesia. A soothing lullaby echoes the dancer’s encircling arm gestures. Mother-related anecdotal confessions trigger cheeky jiggling in legs and hips. Existential disillusionment is slowly uncovered as she rolls on the ground.
At the crossroads of nostalgic introspection and rebellious midlife crisis, Potter displays a woman’s strengths and flaws with pride and humor. Done asking for permission, she does just what she pleases. But you better mark her words. The meanderings of this personal, polyphonic anthem will probably lead you astray.
In an empty space illuminated by coloured lights, a mature lady dances the story of her life. The tales shatters into pieces as she struggles to place her memories. Sounds from nature, lullabies and the calming tones of multiple voices guide her feelings as she opens herself up to the audience. The honesty of Lauren Potter’s performance is touching, allowing us to experience her faltering consciousness through the use of the repeated phrase ‘I had a moment when…’
Choreographically guided by Eva Recacha, this slowly involving work invites us into Potter’s self-reflective microcosm. She curves, spins and bends, her movements precise and accurate. The world of the performance is personal, but at the same time seems to be closed in on itself. Potter’s movements are concentrated and introspective as she floats through remembrance. At some points it’s hard to follow her thoughts. But just as confusion sets in, a reassuring voice cuts through the silence: ‘Don’t you understand? It’s okay. I will do it anyway. Because I can!’
This statement brings another important idea to the centre of the performance: we dance to process our lives – because we can!
Created for and with sexagenarian UK dancer Lauren Potter, choreographer Eva Recacha’s slippery, impressionistic solo is as much about growth, visibility and self-assertion as it is about ageing and memory. It’s a gently autobiographical portait composed in shards, and carried along by an aural collage by Alberto Ruiz Soler that shifts evocatively between song, spoken text and found sound.
Potter, thoughtful and sometimes mischievous in a sleeveless top that exposes long, strong arms, is versatile and her moves – shimmying, reaching, lassoing, waltzing, measuring the bare stage and more – are watchable, memorable and clear. Towards the end she repeats in a multi-track voice-over, ‘I had a moment…,’ finishing the phrase many times over in different ways. However amorphous or merely anecdotal Potter’s collaboration with Rechacha might seem, I grew to like these moments with her. The net result may not be deeply revelatory, but it’s never dishonest or forced.
In Eva Recacha’s Because I Can, Lauren Potter stream-of-consciously rebels against the notion of age-imposed limitation. Guided by Alberto Ruiz Soler’s collage of sound that shifts between song and spoken text (performed by a lovely, lilting voice), Potter playfully moves through memories as she hops, frolics and waves affirmations into her chest with lengthy-strengthy arms.
Near the end we are barraged by a universally recognisable recollection of life’s little moments. My nostalgia-muscle is tingling, so the past-digging must’ve struck a nerve, but the main message hasn’t been driven home – it’s still skulking in my driveway. While I believe that Potter does eventually feel empowered, to be truly convinced I must (and want to!) feel the power surge through my body too. For that lack, no amount of repeated ‘Because I can!’s can compensate. Wistful and weak I leave my seat; the proof was frosted on the pudding, but there was little in it.