Through a striking cacophony of domination and brutality, Junkyard/Paradise presented by the company Mayday out of Montreal kept its promise to display a society in distress. The splintered narratives carved out in jagged thrusts, long suffocating throws, and unbridled rage told the story of lovers and enemies; it called up war crimes, and individuals, communities, countries as detritus.
However, the cruelty committed, perpetuated, and tolerated in the performance served to reveal fleeting moments of authentic hope. My favourite being the performer smeared with what may be Nutella or feces, standing defiant with a garbage dress, aluminum foil hands, and a foam crown crying: “I don’t care.”
Of course she cared! If she didn’t care she would have left. It is in this paradox where the performance takes place.
I saw myself in – and in between – the exacting movements: begging to be taken back by a lover, taunting an outcast, and being incapable of connecting what should be connected events to formulate a glimmer of comprehension. I saw my existence in a digital world where information is immediately available, yet understanding near impossible to find, let alone conjure. Regardless, I still imagine myself trying.
Junkyard/Paradise was made for those compassionate enough to try and understand – while getting beat-up doing it. Beautiful bruises for anyone tough enough to take it.
Joshua Dalledonne is the new Associate Producer for One Yellow Rabbit and a theatre maker with Humble Wonder. Twitter: @dalledon