It’s only February and I’m pretty sure that I just experienced the most beautiful and human piece of art that I will encounter this year. Sean Dorsey Dance’s The Missing Generation is a poignant, well crafted, and well performed expression of a living history of the experiences of the generation of LGBT people who survived the early period of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US.
Dorsey spent two years researching the piece by collecting recordings of interviews with survivors of the time period in six cities. He worked with four different composers to incorporate a number of segments of these recordings into a very effective and well crafted original score to accompany the work. The discussions spanned the loneliness of being a young LGBT person in a world that didn’t accept such a thing at all, the hope and semi-freedom of the rainbow migration into urban areas and the sexual revolution that accompanied it, and, finally, the abject terror and trauma of the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the LGBT communities.
The result is an emotional roller coaster, expressing an important part of American history focused through the lens of those people who experienced it into a performance piece that brings the most humanity to the subject matter that may be possible. Although there are very welcome moments of humor throughout, the overall work is pretty heavy but, even more so, incredibly beautiful. Most of all, it is incredibly human. So very human. Don’t miss this: there are shows tomorrow evening and Sunday afternoon and you should find a way to be at one of them.