The Wedding Dress

a Ballet

CHORUS (white-clothed & black-clothed.)

SET: A low bed with scrim behind it, a table, a sewing machine, surrounded by a garden. Old couple in the bed. CHORUS member (white-clothed) brings out SUN.

Couple yawn, stretch, wake up, perform yoga sun salutations in perfect harmony together, smiling frequently at each other.

They dance a warm, familiar dance – then he goes to the garden, she goes to the sewing machine. She is making a quilt, holding up different-colored patches, trying different arrangements. In the background we see him gathering flowers, trying different arrangements.
White-clothed Chorus removes sun. Black-clothed chorus brings out MOON.

Husband puts flowers and vegetables in wheelbarrow and brings them to wife – she displays her quilt, he shows off his produce, they dance joyously, make flower crowns for each other, sit down to eat. They then perform yoga moon salutations in perfect harmony, then get in bed under the new quilt. We see something that might be sex, might only be hugging and stroking. Sleep.

Chorus removed MOON brings in SUN. WOMAN rises, pushes man. Nothing. She gets out of bed, begins disturbed sun salutations, but interrupting constantly to touch him, push him. Finally realizes he is dead; his arm & head fall out of the bed in a too-obviously dead way. Distress. She seeks in the garden for others – calling. The white-clothed CHORUS appears, comforting her, checking the body, dancing sorrowfully with her, trying to keep her from the body, trying to get her to eat, to dance. She resists; angry; sad. SUN trades with MOON.

CHORUS lifts the body to take away, she insists on covering it with quilt. Chorus helps her into bed, she kicks off her covers; lies like stone. Finally closes her eyes. Might be asleep. HUSBAND appears behind scrim, trying to reach through scrim to her. Finally she wakes up, touches him through scrim, without seeming to be able not to see, only feel, him. She rises up, presses her body against his through the scrim. They dance around the stage, always with the scrim between them but their bodies locked close. Still, they are not able to get through the all-encompassing scrim.

Finally the black clothed CHORUS appears, pulls him away from her through the audience – he is reaching toward her, unwilling to go. She reaches toward him, but he is gone. Wife sits dejected. Finally she takes down the scrim, sniffing it like an animal, dances reminiscently with it, shakes it out. Of course it’s not alive. She folds it up, regards it thoughtfully. Takes it to her sewing machine where she turns it into a fantastic see-through dress, like a wedding dress with a deep skirt, flounces, full sleeves. Puts it on, dances joyously for the first time since the death. Pulls the MOON into her dance. SUN appears, she pulls him too, the three dance wildly together. At the back of the stage another scrim, previously invisible, is lit. Behind it we see the HUSBAND yearning to join their dance. Then he, too begins to dance, with increasing joy until they all are dancing. Dancing.


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