Sara Porter’s Sara Does A Solo gives an intriguing look into the inner and outer life of an artist. Using movement, song, and spoken word, Porter portrays the often confused persona of someone who identifies as a mother, daughter, writer, dancer, and musician. She exposes the audience to the bare truth that life, as in art, is filled with everything from foolish absurdity to woe-filled nostalgia. Reflecting this truth, her on-stage identity constantly, yet gracefully, morphs to take us on a journey that explores her memories, dreams, and private thoughts.
A casual preamble chat with the audience turns into word play. Exploratory movement, during which Porter literally questions what she is doing, allows us to experience her exploration in its beauty and awkwardness. She sings, plays ukulele, and dances with a piano bench, a suitcase, a single tap shoe, and a variety of animate dresses. This shifting keeps us powerless but to follow along to try and discern her message, her reality. Is she talking about her hopes? Singing about the past? Dancing her doubts? Whenever this piece flirts with the literal, it quickly abstracts and continues our descent into Sara’s world.
At the end, we come to see a darker, less adventurous, Sara. The no-holds-barred portrayal of Porter’s psyche has retreated into the person in front of us – someone who, telling from the emotion on her face, has just laid everything on the table. Whatever we parse from Sara Does A Solo, it is a thought-provoking piece that is filled with amusement, honesty, and integrity.