Beth Soll: Two Red Solos
and a review by Deborah Jowitt

Two Red Solos: A Formal Response (2021) 8 minutes

Beth Soll Choreographer
Ethan Mass Videographer and editor

Beth Soll
Abby Dias

The formal nature of Two Red Solos grew out of special circumstances that were both limiting and stimulating. Because of Covid, we worked on uneven ground in a beautiful, green public park next to the Hudson River. We were regaled with the music of the nearby highway and the sounds of insects, birds, and people. The 50+ year age difference between dancer Abby Dias and me also influenced my choreographic decisions. The quarantine rules required us to stay far apart, so I choreographed two separate solos: one for each of us. Our cameraman and editor, Ethan Mass made it possible to create a filmed version of the two solos. In the film, we dance these individual solos at the same time, but often in two different frames. In the post-Covid era, we hope to join our solos in a duet.

Beth Soll

Deborah Jowitt Review
May 27, 2021

Sometimes they’re together in the verdant space and the camera’s eye; at other times, each occupies half of a split screen. Co-director Mass doesn’t keep his camera still either.

Maybe one woman seems to hasten into a close-up. Maybe one screen blacks out for a second. The dancers rush away and become tiny, or hurry toward us, becoming larger. Briefly the editors layer one moving image on top of another. Cuts occur. One half of the screen may briefly go dark.

I love watching Soll and Dias slip into unison and then slide out of it. They also move in canons with each other and, once, build a fugue. The image the two create is—almost—that of a friendship: they like being creative individually but enjoy coming together to confirm their amity. The differences between them are as interesting as the similarities

Two red solos. The performers’ responses to the title may be formal, and the two of them never touch. but their simultaneous solos seethe with the implications of togetherness and isolation that at present shape our daily lives.

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