In Rehearsal

Akiva is exposed. Alison Vodnoy’s character starts the show before it starts by appearing on stage dressed in the layers of clothing from each of the loves of her past. She ritualistically peels off each layer until she is nothing but herself in the form of a dancer.

Act one of the piece is Akiva making her case for why she hasn’t found the right person to love, going through her lovers one by one, tearing them down piece by piece, with a hilariously soft viciousness. She faces challenges from her Psychiatrist and opens the door to her own faults.

Continue reading “In Rehearsal”

SoulVerses

Spoken word can get a bad rap. So can performance art. I always remember incredibly avant garde stuff (think Maureen in Rent, which I suppose 15 years later isn’t incredible or avant garde) that I’m not quite cool or hip enough to get, and I just end up leaving feeling stupid and like I’d missed something.

Continue reading “SoulVerses”

Not Fringe Related…

Henri Loyrette is a charming Frenchman, who also happens to be the director of the Musée de Louvre. In a lecture at the Art Museum this afternoon he garnered quite a crowd despite the lovely weather. Trivia: at any given time there are 35,000 items on display at the Louvre and that’s over half of the entire collection.

Letters at Large

As a blogger, I am constantly looking for good ideas for a blog. You know, the really clever ideas like PostSecret or French Laundry at Home or any of a number of blogs I read frequently and go, "Wow, that’s so clever." The whole time I watched Letters at Large at the Art Academy, that’s what I thought: "Wow, this would make a really great blog!"

Unfortunately, it didn’t make a very good show. The concept is this: Jeff Sinclair writes outlandish, funny letters to companies. Less than half respond. Less than half of those play along. Sinclair spends about an hour reading his letters, in PowerPoint form, and their responses. Some of the responses play along with the somewhat absurd letters, some do not, but the set-up is so simple and lacked dyanamism that it comes off as someone sharing their vacation photos: interesting to the person who went on vacation, but not in need of a comprehensive PowerPoint.

Sinclair also mentions some video he has of interviews with people who responded to his letters, and other video that "could be" incorporated into his show. He said they might be incorporated next year– however, if they existed this year, it would have made for a much more engaging presentation.

If you want to read his letters, check out lettersatlarge.com— as I guessed, this show made for a much better blog than it did a live show.

“Meet Me at 3” is an experiment in experimentation

Hm.

That was my first reaction when the room suddenly went silent, and one by one, dancers began emerging from various points in the performance space. Some moved with slow, deliberate movements, others with more urgency. The movements were lovely – they really were – and it’s a testament to the skill of the performers that they are capable of improvising almost exclusively for 45 minutes. The problem was that at many points, it was obvious that it was being improvised, and therein lays the conundrum of experimentation. You just never know what you’re going to get from performance to performance.

I went into this production having read the description and brushing up a bit on the company. Nothing in the description implies that there is any kind of storyline, and it’s a good thing, because I would totally need the Cliff’s Notes if there were. I found myself staring, wondering, “Why is that girl doing half-hearted jumping jacks in front of a projected waterfall? Why is that other one salsa dancing with a concrete pillar? Why does that one look like she’s being tased over and over again?” And I’m still not sure what the particular projected images had to do with anything, although the Fountain Square sequence is really cool.

The feel of the entire experience was very primal. There’s an interesting segment where a lone dancer “realizes” that her every move is being projected onto the video screen. She moves and tests the idea, discovering and playing to the camera as though she were seeing it for the very first time. The music, which doesn’t become part of the show until about ten minutes in, also has a primordial vibe, evoking images of the hunter/gatherer bringing in the day’s haul.

For a contemporary dance aficionado, it might be a bit more obvious what the essence of this piece is supposed to be. And for the novice, this is a great opportunity to expose yourself to something new. MamLuft&Co. Dance have put together a highly stylized experimental piece, and going in, it’s important to see it as such or it can become very tedious to experience.