Kiki Samko is a revelation in Heart & Dagger’s lovely STILL, NOW (playing @ BCA through May 13th). Katie Bender’s theater piece is, ostensibly, an elegy to life with stage-4 cancer ... but it’s more about the emancipation of the corporeal.
Bender’s dance/theater narrative is inspired by Butoh, an extension of dance which reaches beyond form and substance, eschewing the gestural language of traditional dance. Amy Meyer, who deftly directs STILL, NOW explains that “In Butoh, one does not move the body. The body feels from its inner depths and is moved.”
Because dance is at the heart of the piece, Samko and Colin McIntyre perform a rapturous, undulating love duet. Later on, the entire company swirls around Samko, engulfing her (in cancer cells, maybe, or in solidarity): as they circle her, propelling her around, I could not help but think of the iconic Matisse painting.
The subject matter may call WIT to mind (same disease, same cold clinicians, same destructive treatments) but where WIT is cerebral, STILL, NOW is visceral. Unburdening is its transformation.