Angie’s Map:

Angie with Michelle rehearsing “Syntax Duets,” Jacob’s Pillow, November 2017 | video still: Lily Skove

Works on hanging a screen door

Moves fast

Takes in scene in whole

Take the child under the arms

Remove the child from the boiling puddle

Take him to the sink

Throw out plates

Strike the tap

Let the cold well water run over the boy’s feet

Gather and pour or fling more cold water over the head, shoulders and chest

Send the mommy for towels and gauze

Move quickly and well

Cease to hear the high screams

Look at the soft soles for blisters

Say “I’m here, I’m here”

Wet a the towel down

Swaddle him tight

Lift the baby out of the sink

Set him on the kitchen table’s edge

Soothe him

Bend in

Repeat “I’m here, I’m here”

Try to calm


Meet eyes with her, widen

—with her—

Open the towel

Lean the little boy back on the checkered cloth

Unfasten the softened tabs

Try to remove it

See where the real water’d fallen


Turn away

Throw a haymaker at the air

Curse yourself and the world

Want a cigarette

—with her—

Diaper the child as best you can


Lift him like a newborn, skull in one palm

Run him to the hot truck


Christal’s map:

Christal in duet rehearsal with Trebien, Jacob’s Pillow, November 2017 | video still: Lily Skove

Abandon work

Assess tragedy

Act deliberately

I’m here

Ignore the noise

Create a method

I’m here

Comfort victim

I’m here

Suspend judgment

Ignore the noise

I’m here

Resolve tragedy

I’m here

Notice steam


Discover the source

Suspend judgment

Pack up

Travel to unhurt


Darrell’s map:

Darrell with Sarah rehearsing “No Moves,” Smith College, January 2017 | video still: Lily Skove














Mouth wide

Dabbing pointlessly


Bare little feet

Run on sentence

Invoking God

Mind empty

Regular as breath

Map the body

Little fists


Mind’s extreme rear

Feet’s soles with one hand

Bent in

High pure shining sound

Talking sing song

tiny stricken motions

watch the whole

rest unfold


Trebien’s map:

Trebien with Bronwen rehearsing “Syntax Duets,” Jacob’s Pillow, November 2017 | video still: Lily Skove


Move fast

The overturned pot

on the floor tile

Down on one knee

Dabbing pointlessly




Lift away



Cup hands




Empty everything

Moved slightly

Check the feet soles with one hand

Stop his heart


Bebe’s map:

Bebe with Christal and Trebien rehearsing their duet, Jacob’s Pillow, November 2017 | video still: Lily Skove

Daddy: outside chore, everyday mundane dailiness

Mommy: he hears her voice gone high

Daddy moves fast gets the scene all at once

Toddler. Rigid. Separate sounds

Mommy dabbing at, pointless, frozen

Daddy at sink with child, throws out plates, cold well water poured, flung

Daddy sends God invoking Mommy for things

Daddy moving quickly and well, empty man’s mind, purpose

Door half hung moves slightly, bird appears to observe (how long does it take to take in the bird?)

Take it in: worst scalds to the right, fading, screamed except maybe now reflex

Small face distended veins

Daddy saying he’s here, adrenaline ebbing/ anger gathering

Mommy. Mommy tries. Objectless words

Daddy bent in, here.

A minute, two like this: high pure sound, Mommy at Daddy’s side talking at sing-song, lark bird, hinge gone white in the strain

Parent’s eyes meet & widen

Unfasten the softened tabs where the real water’d fallen

Baby Boy: all this time screamed for help and they hadn’t, hadn’t thought

State of what was there – God

Mommy grabbed table to stay upright

Daddy cursed himself for not the last time

Child, before, watching Daddy’s song, seeing way past him

Have a child/ break your heart/ twangy lady’s song always now with you/ a cigarette then, again

Daddy lifts him, runs to the hot truck, burns rubber all the way to town

Door hanging open all day, gives up/out

Child has left himself

Sun continues to rise.


How Dancing is Built: The Making of "In A Rhythm" Copyright © 2018 by Bebe Miller Company. All Rights Reserved.

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