Ralph Lemon's How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere? Nov 19, 2010

by Heather


How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?

Sometimes it's nice to stay home all day.

Even when you think you're staying still, you're moving.

Because you are the house and no matter where you go, there you are.

This question is not a question.

What is a house?

Anywhere is right here.

If you're in the house with me, I don't want to go anywhere.

Sometimes leaving is too soon, too much and not enough, all at the same time.


Ralph Lemon's How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?

Is painfully, beautifully, overwhelmingly generous.

The performers give and give and give and dance and dance and dance and make us breathe funny and hold our backs straight because we are listening to them but with our eyes.  And we are worried for them and happy for them and aware that they are a them and we are also a them - doers and watchers.  The doers do and do and do, which reminds us of doing or needing to do or wanting to do.  They are at their edges all the time, or beyond their edges, for too long and too hard.  It is excruciating and necessary.

It is generous in it's assertion of every single chosen and accidental small and big element.  All things seem to matter and matter without hierarchy:  cowboy boots on old men on plastic-wrapped beds, dances with one sock, last moments with lost loves.  Dances.  Dancers. Films. Stories. 

It is generous in it's relentless expression of what is important right here, right now.

It is too much.  Too much truth, too much crying, too much hope, too much storytelling and dancing or not dancing.  And in that too much is again generosity and intelligence.

It is not trying to be something.  It is.

It is difficult.  It doesn't deliver what you want.

There are no transformations, only presentations.  In that there is immediacy.  Maybe honesty.  Maybe honesty is no longer important.

It is not attempting sincerity and also, it is definitely not insincere.

It is stylish and important.

There is exactness and weight in its details.

It exposes, beginning with a question, ending with question.  In it's splendid sprawling bulk, the present and presence and ghosts of its essence.


I feel thankful to witness what seems tended to, cared for, over and about.  It strikes me as American, in its particular passion and necessity.  Its relentlessness is beautiful without glamorizing its violence.  At every turn, the dance risks - the rug is taken out from under the structure over and over and I fear each time that now I will no longer care about it.  And instead of giving me what I want, a new challenge is presented and I am relieved to not be satisfied.


Sometimes maybe we just don't know.  There is no pretending that we should or do.


It is a very rare performance that makes me see circularly.  In How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere? all things become dances, out there in the world and in there, in the theater.  It makes me care and cry and talk to people.


Apparently it makes me gush.


-Heather Kravas