The Trisha Brown Dance Company performed four pieces at BAM last night, including two New York premieres. I know very little about dance and lack the vocabulary to describe the movements and style; but I do know when it works, when the energy makes sense. It is like music in how it opens thoughts from the day-to-day into something skulking deep within. The dancers spun, flipped and dashed, and I found myself thinking back to my first book, The Sacred Whore. As I told agents time and again back in 1988, “It’s the story of a group of prostitutes who kidnap a college basketball team so that they can air their views on what is wrong with America on primetime television.” The first draft was 720 pages and had 15 major characters.I eventually got that down to 282 pages and five main characters. It’s a chaotic, action-dependent, socio-political piece that stumbles and ultimately fails, but I still am interested in the premise. It opens on the back roads of Oklahoma, women climbing out the back of an 18-wheeler truck like refugees. They’ve been kidnapped by a pimp who wants to address the hypocritical morality of the nation with a hair-brained kidnapping scheme. I was standing in a Paris apartment when I thought of this, a mannequin sitting in the dark beside the bed. Prostitutes transported across the country by a truck. What about that? It seemed like something, I didn’t know what, like the moment some months later, halfway through the book, when a character I had expunged from the text, Chantal, decided to return. She did that on her own. I want back in. She was like the woman on stage last night at BAM, dancing with a camera on her back. She was self-realized, something out of nothing. I thought about that coming back over the bridge.
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