Two women gradually shuck the gauze cocoons they have wrapped themselves up in, step forward boldly and begin sowing imaginary seed, as if enacting American Indian rituals.
So ends performance artist Yen Lu Wong's two-act work "Shi-Me," which was given its premiere by Wong's company, TNR, Thursday at the Japan America Theatre.
It was one of the few memorable images in a diffuse, tedious and academic work, loaded with pretensions, from the incorporation of chic masks by Francoise Gilot to program notes announcing that what was taking place was no less than two "ceremonies."
Ostensibly celebrated were events of autobiography and, to quote the notes, "metabiography."
In Part 1, "Cicada Images, Moulting," meandering theatrical episodes were hung together on the slender narrative thread of a Chinese girl emerging from self-hatred generated by encounters with Western education and religion.