This was a program with a heavy-duty sense of purpose. Addiction. Poverty. Mental illness. But in the hands of Marjani Forte, being Here… /this time was woven together like a feather-light pashmina. It’s something that we don’t find much in American choreography, which likes to be direct, almost obvious in its intention. Here there was almost a sense of beauty about this project, despite the subject matter.
– Rebecca Himberger
The GC Advocate New in Dance: Paul Taylor and Marjani Forté By Meredith Benjamin
“I am reminded of a phrase from Audre Lorde’s “biomythography,” Zami, where she writes that “our place was the very house of difference rather than the security of any one difference.” As the women of being Here… come together in various groupings (if only to separate again), Forté asks us to consider the ravages of mental illness and addiction as one of many (non-defining) iterations of difference.
… Forté asks us to look more closely at these interlopers we so often ignore: at what point do we consider someone “crazy” and thus ignorable? This dance is not about making oneself intelligible to others, but about the ways that we view and respond to what we consider unintelligible.”
The New York Times: The Sameness of Their Differences
“This 50-minute dance, which had its premiere at Danspace Project on Thursday, takes a brave look at the ravages of mental illness and addiction. In scene after scene, six women shake and twitch. Samantha Speis’s intense, committed performance as the woman at the start is matched by similarly intense performances by the rest of the cast. There’s a person in there, underneath the symptoms. “being Here…” gives us a glimpse.”
The Dance Enthusiast: Impressions of: being Here… by Marjani Forté
“That’s the point of Marjani Forté’s new, fifty-minute piece, being Here… She insists the audience confront their own prejudices about mental illness and addiction in a half-dozen vignettes highlighting six fervent and compassionate dancers… being Here… builds to a riveting climax of redemption and acceptance.”
InfiniteBody Arts, Culture and the Creative Mind
“A reverberating, hallucinatory score (by Everett V. Saunders) forms the perfect sonic matrix for this vigorous, kaleidoscopic solo on an edge where assertion of self (or, really, the eruption of multiple selves) meets aggression….. But what’s especially convincing here is that she never loses control of the physical shapes or the impression she’s making. Never. Never ever”
-Eva Ya Asantewaa Dec 2010
The L Magazine
“Her control and skill allowed her to embody fluidity, rigidity, kinetic energy, spontaneity, and character …in a split second.”
“EGO is Marjani A. Forté’s, and she has plenty of it, or none of it. Beginning in a soft glow near the back wall, her back to us, she sends shivers and spasms like shock waves through her body, in and out of synch with music by Everett V. Saunders. She is a powerful and breathtaking mover, shifting so quickly that guessing what she’ll do next is impossible. And when she jerks fabric over her head and turns around to us, breasts and face equally visible and invisible, it quickly becomes clear that her emotions can shift equally fast. In superspeed mime, she hits polite, angry, shy, excited, apologetic, fierce and funny. Then, to keep us guessing, she enters the audience to sit on someone’s lap and returns to the stage to burn even hotter, ending the piece by slowly approaching a man in the front row, in a delicious mix of menace and appeal.”