10 Marilyns, a work-in-progress, closed out the program
and brought down the house. The piece reveals Marilyn
Monroe as both icon and human being. Although full of
humor, this is no cheap shot at Monroe; rather, the
piece is an exploration of her place in our shared cultural
fabric. Monroe is treated lovingly and respectfully
in this work. Performing with Germond in the first movement
are featured Marilyns Andrea Cerniglia and Deborah Levasseur-Lottman.
Both are presented by Germond as campy and outrageous,
childlike and sexy - the same attributes of Marilyn
presented to the world by those that created her image.
The three Marilyns come to compete with one another
as to which one is the sexiest, the vampiest, the most
alluring, although all of them are riveting. After a
few moments of sultry poses and big cheesecake smiles,
the three of them begin loudly slapping their bodies,
and the sound ricochets off the walls and floor. It's
Norma Jean reminding herself of the reality of her own
flesh, while Marilyn keeps smiling for the cameras.
After this sequence, another Marilyn arrives, takes
her position, and begins performing in unison with the
first three Marilyns. Then, another Marilyn enters.
And another. And another, until we have the ten Marilyns
of the title posing and preening for us. All are dressed
in black, mostly lingerie. All have blond wigs. None
of them look alike, though, and the last Marilyn to
enter has apparently forgotten to shave his beard for
the occasion. The contrast between the typical overly
feminized image of Marilyn Monroe, and a roomful of
both male and female dancers of varying heights and
body sizes portraying her, is a poignant reminder that
we all have a bit of Marilyn in us, a public image that
does not necessarily reflect the flesh and blood reality
of the person we really are."
Kathleen Duffy, 2002