“The Gas Heart” (1921) is a Dada “classic” by Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of that movement. In the Big Dance rendering of the play the fierce comic, lyric text comes vividly to life with a staging that is distinctly choreographic and choreography that is distinctly theatrical. It is as if Tzara wrote the play for the Big Dance Company.
The elasticity and non-narrative openness of the script makes it possible to employ a varied number of cast members depending on the needs of the program. Each production will require new staging and dances suited to the skills and collective aesthetic of the group. Although “The Gas Heart” is part of the Big Dance Repertory every iteration of it is original. This gives the participants a dual experience of inhabiting a sophisticated piece of repertory yet also creating something new.
From NYTimes review “…The comic triumph Here is The Gas Heart, by Tristan Tzara, a witty Dadaist take on avant-garde sophisticates working, flirting, effortlessly executing impossible dance steps, looking as classy as Cecil Beaton portraits and exchanging superior sounding banter that is utter nonsense. Few Dada plays survive; this one is exquisite and exquisitely performed.”
This piece is 30 minutes and can be done by a large group of people.
Direction from Paul Lazar, Choreography adapted by Elizabeth DeMent.