When the plot is scrambled, don't worry about details; Anna Into Nightlight. Romance created and directed by Ping Chong and the Fiji Theater Company.
New York — Plot is controversial with some directors and filmmakers.
Is a story really necessary, or can imagery and structure carry a work by themselves? If you do tell a tale, must the beginning come first and the ending last? Or do we need new ways of looking at narrative?
''Anna Into Nightlight'' takes a middle road. It has a good story, with a reasonable number of characters and conflicts. But the plot has been fractured and shuffled, its pieces arranged into a strange new order. So attention is directed to other qualities of the show - its unconventional images, allusions, and stagecraft.
It's a slightly dizzying experience, and ultimately a dazzling one. The trick is not to worry about the details of the story, but let yourself drift gently along with Chong's slow and stately vision, in which nothing is quite as neat, predictable, or even real as it first appears. It doesn't matter which sister wins the man they both love. What does matter is the unique visual style, the elegant blending of stage and film effects, the ingenious new perspective Chong brings to all kinds of standard dramatic situations.
Especially notable is Chong's ability to transform ordinary scenes into stunning theatrical moments - not by expanding or heightening them, but by distilling their essential meanings and emotions. Though many of the show's words and gestures have no ''message'' except the moods they create, there is hardly a wasted moment during the brief running time of about an hour.