For over an hour, Daniel Darwin spun—and it was breathtaking.
In Sufism, there is a form of meditation where dervishes would whirl to achieve truth. It’s a spiritual practice that involves deserting their egos to arrive at “perfection”. Dance Until You Shatter Yourself, a durational movement piece, is inspired by these whirling dervishes. It’s a performance that combined dance, music, narration, video, and light, to show a man testing his endurance, arriving at his breaking point, and experiencing his rebirth.
It’s an arresting piece; hypnotic, even. Darwin’s movement from the beginning until the very end is elegant. Even when he is spent and shattered, he is graceful. He strips himself raw, sharing his personal journey in pursuit of truth. The use of all the show’s elements made it all the more mesmerizing and haunting. The shift in color, sound, and intensity of these elements heightened the various states of emotion, elation, and exhaustion the artist experiences throughout his performance.
There is an authenticity and vulnerability about the whole thing—something transcendental and spiritual that moves you, or even changes you. It is philosophical and makes you wonder about your own truth. It is a profound work of art, yes, but more importantly, it is a meaningful one.