Burn Line, 2022
Performance by Travis Laplante & Sarah H. Paulson
October 22, 2022 / 2pm-7pm
Audience may arrive and depart anytime throughout the 5-hour performance.
The Big Barn Concert Hall (Putney, VT)
Performers: Meg Dellenbaugh, Shiloh Hodges, Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson, Travis Laplante (saxophone), Eduardo Leandro (percussion), Samantha Lysaght, Sarah H. Paulson, Laura Clarke Stelmok.
Costume assistance: Patricia Burleson
Indigo Ink: Katherine West
Burn Line is a performance of passion. For 5 hours, individuals for whom performance is a sacred language, join one another in an unspoken dialogue. Through dance/movement, mark-making, and music, the relationship between the performers, the intimate concert hall, and the audience members deepens with time.
Audience members are invited to arrive and depart as they wish throughout the 5 hours. Some may be witness to thousands of rose petals cascading upon a rigorous movement sequence. Others may catch a spontaneous improvisational crescendo between percussionist Eduardo Leandro and saxophonist Travis Laplante. All will see the heaping pile of salt around which the performance revolves.
The uniting thread of Burn Line is the completion of Paulson’s many year relationship with the pages of a 100+ year old ledger. In her 2016 performance, The Reed Bed, all 700+ pages of the ledger were burned with 3 holes using a moxa stick. Six years later, Paulson uses indigo ink to draw a single vertical line* on each page, connecting the 3 holes. As though together in a confined room, Laura Stelmok sits across from her, guiding her in drawing the line.
Burn Line stretches the performers for the purpose of being touched by—and touching back toward—the unknown world that performance holds.
Some messages can only arrive through harmony. Burn Line aspires to such harmony. Though the message may be unknown, we still listen. Burn Line is about the unification of what was, what is now, and what might come. Burn Line guarantees nothing but lives through promise and passion. Burn Line is the performer calling to Performance. Burn Line is the performer listening through Performance. Burn Line is the performer laying down her instrument so that something might be completed.
Performance might one day call. Perhaps one will be reduced enough to hear and be marked by such a call.
* “I will never forget learning in elementary school that a line is infinite. The teacher opened a door in me that was both shocking and made perfect sense. The notion of an infinite line has remained at the center of my life since that moment. The line is a holy mark. The vertical line in this performance, though drawn hundreds of times, and transforming in shape, is a symbol for the same line." - Sarah H. Paulson
This performance emerged from the The School of 3 Lights and its artist residency program.