by Douglas Messerli
Based on the 1986 play Dans la Solitude des Champs de Coton by French author Bernard-Marie Koltès, who died of AIDS in 1989, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields is an angst-ridden play about gay love and sex. The two performers of this Polish production, Wojciech Niemczyk and Tomasz Nosinski, backed up by the neo-punk techno band, Natural Born Chillers, begin the action with an mesmerizing dance performance. Dressed in retro 1960s black suits, thin ties, and white shirts, the two stunningly gyrate to the music, Niemczyk moving in all-out abandonment, while Nosinski—already suggesting the character we soon encounter—dances in a series of more restrained, nervous twitches that suggest an internalized psychological condition that won't permit him to "let loose." Both men are absolutely beautiful, completely aware of their lithe bodies and their youthful good looks. When they meet on the street after the dance, a gaze between the two sends them into a sexual interchange negotiated with an intense dialogue, as they play out the roles they describe as dealer and client.