Reap Just What You Sow was Fleshy Thud’s first larger scale production. Composed of four duets choreographed by Ryan Kerr, RJWYS was performed in December 2008 at the Gordon Best Theatre.
The first duet (Yuri) was performed by Kerr and Jenn Cole. It explored the distance two people separated from each other for months endure even when reunited.
The second duet (Schism) was performed by Kerr and Anne Ryan. It was an examination of 9/11 “jumpers”. Schism is a a sadly fluid freefall: a memorial to those people who went to work on the morning of September 11, 2001 and were forced to choose between two horrible options: choke on the smoke and burn to death, or leap outside into the fresh air from 70, 80, 100 stories up. The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood. For those who jumped, the fall lasted 10 seconds. They struck the ground at just less than 240km per hour — not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact. People jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, in pairs and in groups. They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when the ceilings fell and the floors collapsed; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died. Ultimately, they were choosing not whether to die but how to die. Nobody survived on the floors from which people jumped.
Well after 9/11, Tom Junod a writer from Esquire magazine contacted the coroner’s office in New York and asked for a count of how many people jumped. He was told that nobody jumped. The official word was that victims were blown out or they were forced out, but nobody jumped. “There were just those things that day that you were supposed to see, you weren’t supposed to say and you weren’t supposed to talk about.” Now it’s estimated that anywhere between 50 and 200 jumped out of the Trade Center that day, although experts believe that the higher number is more likely. If so, nearly 8% of those who died in New York on September 11th died by falling or jumping out of the buildings.
Jack Gentual, dean of student services at the New Jersey Institute of Technology got a call from his wife Alayne who worked in the tower and was trapped on the 97th floor. “She told me smoke was coming in the room, coming through the vents, her breath was laboured … She said to me ‘I’m scared’ and she wasn’t a person who got scared. She said that she loved me and to tell the boys she loved them.” Alayne told her husband that she was going to try to escape to the lower floors and that she would call later.
But Gentual never heard from his wife again. Her body was found on the street in front of the building across from hers. He wonders if his wife was one of the many who decided to jump. “In some ways it might just be the last elements of control. To be out of the smoke and the heat, to be out in the air…it must have felt like flying.”
A video was created by firewirechannel of this performance and can be found in the gallery section.
The third duet (Universal) was performed by Kerr and Wes Ryan. Based on the Universal Declaration of Rights, it examined the concepts of personal space and boundaries.
The fourth duet (Perfect Day) was performed by Kerr and Anne Ryan. It explored the nature of lovers on a perfect day.