New Ohio Theatre presents Blessed Unrest's ensemble investigation into the nature of the human body. More…
A trauma surgeon works to repair her patient’s internal organs; a painter seeks to expose the raw humanity of his nude model; and a woman journeys back to Chernobyl as she strives to understand the body that is now only partially hers. 'Body' digs into the flesh, organs, bones, systems, and movement of the human body as art and as machine. New Ohio Theatre commissioned Blessed Unrest to create this original piece during a two-year Archive Residency in collaboration with IRT Theater. Note: The show includes nudity.
"Daring in its intimacy, performed with mesmerizing vulnerability, 'Body' is a truly exceptional piece of theatre...Grounded in a collection of experimental dance, the nudity on stage becomes as graceful and natural as a Muybridge motion study...The result is a living, breathing performance, engaging to watch and thoughtful in its scope...A piece that will change how you see others and, ultimately, how you see yourself. It is a transcendent celebration of both the human body and spirit." Full Review
“The actors give stunning performances as individuals and as a group, using their own bodies as props and character makeup…'Body’ is one of those pieces that if you stop paying attention for a longer than a moment, you’re sure to miss something; luckily the dynamic characters, continual movement, and fantastic visuals keeps the audience on their toes...One of the most fascinating performances I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. It was raw, intense, stunning and emotional.” Full Review
"Literally and metaphorically, there’s a lot to take in here: any of 'Body’s' featured concepts could easily form the basis for a separate show. Nonetheless, Blessed Unrest handles its subject matter with a surgeon’s precision and an artist’s sensitivity, embracing reverence, confusion, and discomfort alike. Effectively, by inviting us to re-envision the bodies we inhabit, 'Body: Anatomies of Being' highlights our essential humanity, inviting us to celebrate ourselves in all our flawed glory." Full Review
"The stories curve and wind through and around each other like the performers. The focus here seems to be less on drama and more on flow, interconnectedness, humanity, intention. And so while I take exception to a couple of the show’s assertions, and while I would have preferred for the scientific information to be explored in a more dramatic fashion, I was captivated by 'Body' from beginning to end, and left the theater feeling a warm, nourishing glow." Full Review
"The demands of this production are highly taxing, emotionally and physically, and each member of the cast attacks the process with prowess. Their cohesiveness is hypnotic and nearly superhuman…The cast is constantly connected and engaged; the faltering moments seem to lie in the overall structure and shape of 'Body'...Though the piece itself is not done growing, it stands on strong legs and moves confidently in the direction of its goal." Full Review
"While the story works, the writer did not do a great job of connecting the dots, but it was more than enough to let the individual moments work...The show demands a lot more than it gives. I’m not saying that as a bad thing...Almost every person is naked for a good amount of the show, which creates an uncomfortable atmosphere. Yet I loved it all. The choreography, the dialogue, the boldness of the whole production. Bravo to this team for going all the way and succeeding." Full Review
"Because the actors are so good and Ms. Burr directs them so well, we get to like all of them. A good deal of the dialogue is tediously expository and/or didactic which sometimes turns 'Body' into a lecture demonstration...Although there is a sense of self-indulgence the earnestness of 'Body' far surpasses its provocative elements...Although a dramaturge might have streamlined the play, as it stands 'Body' is original and challenging theater." Full Review
“As much as it wants to break the audience out of being shocked by nudity, the script doesn’t measure up...For so many things like these that are right about 'Body,' there are too many more that don’t line up...A stronger hand to cut extraneous dialogue, direction that needs to shave off the two extra endings, and even a lighter touch, giving actors time to enjoy the comedy when it lands, are just a few starting places that might help bring ‘Body’ into alignment.” Full Review
“Part movement piece, part character narratives, and part X-rated lost exhibit at Wonders of Life at Epcot...In the end, no matter what words were spoken on stage, ‘Body’ will be remembered simply because of the nudity. In a sense, this play is simply indulgent...The extensive use of nudity diminished one of the most beautiful narratives...It’s bound to start a conversation. It just may not be the one Blessed Unrest had hoped for.” Full Review
"For all its apparent radicalism, this show is very tame and, for a show that features nine naked actors of various shapes and sizes, surprisingly boring...The thing that bothers me most about ‘Body’ is how un-daring it feels...While the show is bold in its staging, it is middling in its emotional depth and its confrontational pretensions are just that. Ironic that a play in which actors remove so much clothing is so…unrevealing...The show is well-intentioned and brave, just deeply flawed." Full Review
See it if you dare to see how much more there is to a body than just flesh: its politics, vulnerability, beauty, the blessings and curses it carries.
Don't see it if you are prudish and easily offended by the body images that are different from the sanitized, objectified, Photoshopped images in the media
See it if You're interested in exploring identity, body issues, race relationships, life, sex, & death with a physically & emotionally committed cast
Don't see it if You're uncomfortable with nudity or impatient with devised, conceptual work.
See it if you are interested in an overlong exploration of how we view the body, enjoy alternative theater, and are open minded about nudity on stage
Don't see it if you are a prude; or if you are easily bored by overly artsy and drawn out performances.
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