Sunday, December 23, 2007

I have been discouraged lately about this career I have chosen for myself. But I never question my desire or "rightness" of being a dancer, of absorbing all I can of dance. In the last month or so, it has come in direct relief against the rest of my life why it is that I dance rather than something else. Why I gave up songwriting and piano-playing for a less direct commune with audiences. There is something so wonderful --when one has felt misunderstood, like one's words are constantly twisted, why one feels one is tilting at windmills because the real enemy is formless-- about saying exactly what you mean with such specificity and completeness, and yet at the same time with such mystery and ephemerality, as when you 'speak' through dance. And to know that even if those people witnessing the dance do not understand it in express terms, they take something away from the experience. They can't help it. Unconsciously, viscerally, with kinesthetic sympathy they take it with them. A trace. That's all I ask, all I want. I talk myself right back onto this path again and will sign off now to go do some tendus and plies and splits in search of a strange new thing to say through my body...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Pina Bausch "Nefes" at the NAC in Ottawa November 25 2007

Water is breath. Hair is breath and moves like water. Their arms flow and rage, gestures as old as the waves touching the shores of the stage, of the land that inspires this dance. It unravels for almost three hours, the blackness of the stage enlarging itself at each minute, the edges of white, screens, escorts, soap, skin, the way light hits the water.

She is a conjurer, making it rain on stage, making puddles appear and disappear through the floor boards.

A glass of glowing blue liquid, a line of men and women humming along with Tom Waits. We all wait and wait for the moment we can applaud.

The conventions of Pina Bausch have never made so much sense to me, been so abstract, dark and eerily logical as with this piece. The hair in the women's eyes, the men spinning, tossing and flinging the women. The men themselves in spasmic commune with each other. The water as a character that links each member of the 20-person cast.

Sadly Pina did not make an appearance at the curtain call; the audience was eager to express their appreciation for her entire career. The sea of people at the NAC clapped appropriately sounding like rain. The cast came to the front of the stage and looked us in the eye. I held my breath and smiled.

Friday, November 9, 2007

At the Wrecking Ball IV -- Sarah Slean's poem for Lucy

If you want to read the full version of the poem Sarah Slean wrote for Lucy Rupert's piece "The Abecedarian" please visit Sarah's website at www.sarahslean.com.

More on At The Wrecking Ball soon....

Monday, October 8, 2007

the beginning

I am starting this blog to try to stoke a fire for contemporary dance in all its guises and forms. Recently I've been hearing a lot of dance artists bemoaning the lack of analysis, discussion, criticism in the sense of describing and analysing what we're seeing, what we're creating. This is my very small way of contributing.

I will not review dance, per se, but write responses and things I see inside choreography and performance.

Feed the fire and respond to these words!