Sprawled downstage center, eyes closed and hoodie zipped, I waited with my fellow coma patients to repeat the same 8 counts for what would be the…sixth time? By now my energy had expired and I was losing track of the process. The staging for Coma requires more planning, practice, and precise execution than most ballets, and packing one’s patience is essential.
I craned my neck over to the left and raised my eyelids to half-mast, noticing that Alex’s motionless body had adopted a similar sense of relaxation. Despite a conventionally unpleasant setting, rumpled on a cold, hard floor with harsh lights jabbing at our tired limbs, the simple comfort in our presence was obvious. Testing the limits of this strange comfort, I made the conscious decision to direct my sight up into the cool blue lights glowing above me. Staring into their gleam, I realized how relatively unaffected my retinas were, if not slightly soothed by the familiarity of this specific brilliance. I made a note to myself, to channel this bizarre relaxation in the final movement of Coma, when our unconscious hearts replace the reality of their suspension with the bliss of a restful place.