"Hell is...other people!"
~ Jean-Paul Sartre
Choreography: Sarah Hixon
Music: Antonio Carlos Jobim, W. A. Mozart
“No Exit” is darkly humorous and references Existentialist theater by exploring the inherent conflicts of people existing in close quarters. The false constraint of the 4-foot square platform creates a physically and psychologically uncomfortable space--too small for both dancers and observers. Recognizable situations pull the audience in with simple pedestrian movement. Drawing on elements of acting, the dancers oscillate between cordiality and disgust, cooperation and self-interest. To expose the psychological development of the situation, the dance transforms into more abstract emotive movement. Even after the assumed antagonist is forcibly removed, the space remains a constant prison. They are unable to leave the platform or each other, trapped knowing by the end that hell is other people.
By approaching the performative space precisely I invite intimate observation, allowing viewers better access to the intent of the work. In this piece, the space is exaggerated and explicitly defined by the platform. This constraint is the catalyst for the dancers’ torment. The work also approaches time as seemingly endless for the dancers. Like the platform, time is an oppressive condition from which the performers cannot escape.