Thursday, October 30, 2008

Webvid 7c - Air Guitar Rehearsal 10/18 @ Chez Bushwick

(apparently the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a tight watch on YouTube, and aren't letting people post videos with their music in them. Good thing there's and a million other sites to post on. WORKING video now below!)


Lillie and I returned to our "let's pretend we're rock gods" movement practice this past saturday, bringing new AOMC dancers Alex and Carlos along with us. It was great to have some new mind/bodies bringing in different movement and viewpoints to the improvisation, and it also felt surprisingly wonderful to get that movement back in my body, getting the chance to thrash and strut around.

But as much as I love how it feels, and despite the fact that I am interested in watching the improvisations, I'm still bugged by nagging feelings. Is it too silly? Not accurate enough? Self Indulgent? Lacking umph? It's obviously not postmodern, never-been-seen, or subtle. But since when am I so interested in any of those things?

I think the thing that "worries" me the most about it (the basic idea, by the way, is an air guitar solo that starts with the dancer in control of the movement and ends up with the movement in control of the dancer) is the audience's response. I know, I know, don't think about the audience, don't worry about what they'll say. But (as I've stated before) i think its both contradictory and dumb, as the same people that give that advise will also warn you not to be too self indulgent and urge you to present well edited work. There is no way to pacify, so (for now) i think that considering the audience is perfectly legitimate. So that's what i'm doing right now - putting these clips up to see what will fly. Please don't worry about censoring yourself - we know it's silly, we know it needs work, but yes, i'm putting it up anyway because i think it's entertaining, engaging in some context, and really fun to do. I think there's something there. However, even if your comment is "there's nothing there" i'd still love to hear it.

For instance, Brian, from my internship, mentioned that he really liked seeing the men dance it - that before it made him dubious that it was a statement "about" something (women's-lib inclined, he said) and that if it was "about" something that he didn't understand those type of dances. He said that seeing four people do it, it became more about how it started as guitar, and then the movement eventually became just movement for movement's sake. Gerrit mentioned that his preference was for the solos that got into the more abstract movements - he enjoyed seeing the literal guitar movement weaving in and out, but liked seeing what the eventual amplified abstractions of that movement was. Ulises thought it was really bad. Jeremy was worried it would be too self indulgent. All of these things are interesting to me.

If you're unsure of where to start, here are some questions you could respond to specifically:
- what is your first reaction upon seeing this movement?
- does it change your watching of the dance when it's a female versus a male dancer?
- is this "about" anything to you?
- what movement specifically are most easily identifiable as "guitar" or "rock god" movements?
- what's your reaction as the movement gets more abstract?
- Is this "worth your time" to watch? Is it engaging? entertaining? silly? boring? frustrating? why?
- does it make you want to move? does it make you want to tell us how to move?

We each took a turn (alex, carlos, lillie, and i) doing two rounds through the song ("Man" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). I made two videos out of it - the first is an edit together of all four, and the second is all four at the same time, so you can compare linearly. Would love to hear what you think!


jpheiffer said...

I think it is probably an enjoyable experience for you because you know the people doing it. I find it boring. If there was some possibility for audience participation, or at least a way for the audience to really connect with the people air guitaring it might be a more enjoyable experience.

On another note, the movement looks contrived. A lot of the movement seems to come from the music as opposed to the simulated creation of music. If the focus of the dancer was the guitar, not the music, and some of the extraneous movement was edited it might be a more connected experience for the audience.

Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...

hm. I'm interested i what you said about the audience having some way to connect. I read into that statement "some way to interact" but on second look maybe that's not what you're saying.

As an audience member, would it be more important to you to feel like you had some hand in it's being, or just that you connected to it on some emotional/intellectual/philosophical/kinetic level? Or am i missing what you're saying?

jpheiffer said...

Yes, as suggestions. Some way to interact might be good. Why couldn't some one from the audience come on stage and air guitar? A few people? Maybe that's not where you're going at all, but I don't see anything about your exercise that wouldn't translate pretty well to a willing audience member.

As for the second part, which is more of an emphasis for me, there is some sort of emotional connection I desire. Maybe I want to feel like this person is my buddy and I'm watching him rock out. That could be fun. Maybe all it needs is a sense of humor about it. A sense that the "guitarist" is aware of how ridiculous what they're doing is. Then the audience could be in on the joke, as opposed to wasting their time watching a dancer poorly air guitar.

Sarah A.O. Rosner/The AOMC said...


it's changed a bunch.
excited to see what you think of the new version...
will post soon.