Here’s a review of “On One Condition” with Dan Daw, directed by Graham Adey. We saw the work at it’s US debut at SoHo Playhouse.
It is with great displeasure that I must report, at the time of this writing, that Dan Daw’s “On One Condition” is no longer playing at SoHo Playhouse in NYC. This regret is nothing particularly intense or oppressive, but it is urgent in it’s nature of communication: spending time with Daw is to be deeply valued.
The opening of “On One Condition” is a remote and elegant remark that carries through the entire performance: those with disability tend to do exactly what those without disability will do. I initially suggest this remoteness because though Daw is doing normal things, he does them in a way that is approximately predictable. However, engaging with Daw is easy: after getting dressed as quickly as he can, the fourth wall is broken promptly and Daw settles in with the crowd: incorporating them into his world as he can.
The set is spare but perfect, only white lines and white shoes and imaginary spaces- a bed; a chair, a TV. It is as orderly as Daw can imagine it; as pure and simple as possible- the approximate memory of childhood.
Daw, intellectually, does move effortlessly between totally present and somewhere near by. It was a dynamic that wasn’t alienating, so much as curious. Viewers could sense that Daw’s mind moved far faster than his body, causing moments of glitch-like personal emotion: a smile, a glance down, laughing and crying merging together. Daw, of course, is first and foremost a dancer, having done work around the world. Daw recounts, in a charming and heartbreaking way, his travels and failures by friends and strangers alike.
If anything, On One Condition serves as a reminder that those with disability are not far different from anyone else; they laugh at the same things, sense success and failure, even dance. It’s a lesson in knowing boundary and knowing points of connection, too.
Directed by Graham Adey in collaboration with performer Dan Daw and in partnership with Murmuration (AUS).
“On One Condition etches itself into the consciousness through its artistic power” (Ingela Brovik, Dance Magazine Sweden).