Thursday, March 5, 2009

TPAM day 2

OK, after seeing Pappa Tarahumara's adaption of Chekov's Three Sisters in their little studio and after recently seeing Ship in a View in the City by the Bay, I've become a big fan. An incredible intensity and immediacy coupled with depth and polish and way-too-capable performers makes for a flawless piece. The sound/music score is tightly integrated into the dance. Asking Hiroshi Koike about this, he said that he gives his composers very detailed timelines - Lynne said storyboards - of the piece before they start to write, but that he also asks them to fill it in with many special sounds and gestures, which he then works into the movement language. Only once have I worked from a score given to me by a choreographer: Robert Wechsler's Modules/Loops, excerpt following, and I have to say that it was great fun. It's been noted by many people that having constraints is quite freeing, and I found that to be true:

Before this, we were treated to a series of showcase works that highlighted quite a different dance aesthetic from what I have seen in the US. A couple of the pieces were quite sparse, with some dangerous moves, e.g., climbing up a series of stacked tables and then rolling off the top to land on all fours like a cat; falling onto the top of the head from a kneeling position with an audible whack, then slowly un-scissoring to lie on the belly. The final piece was the most memorable and, even though it is quite impossible to capture in words, let me ask the reader to imagine a young woman afflicted with a mild case of St. Vitus' Dance or other neurological disorder, following the spoken instructions of a self-help meditation recording that has had a large number of silences edited in, no other music, in front of a small black wall, a very simple white spot with a diffuse edge lighting her as she slightly vibrates through the simple postures, and then, after a small adjustment of the furniture, changing her shirt from green to orange, taking her meds, then merely sitting on an ottoman-like object quietly while the tape, still filled with silences, plays again, the whole process using up the better part of 3/4 of an hour.

Besides that, more schmoozing, more meetings, lots of bits and pieces of dances too numerous to mention.

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