Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This isn't a dance...but what if it was?

After banging out three apps in two days, my mental state is officially "eh" (a technical term).
I realized today that i've started looking at things as if they were dances. Not in that judson - "everything is a dance" way, although i'm not sure how to explain how it's different. In lieu of explanation, take this for your viewing pleasure:

Now if Mr Rosdale is our Twyla Tharp, then there's got to be a Martha somewhere, right?

Oh wait.

I found her:

Aren't you all glad i'm so funny?

No seriously, this is what's going on in my head right now. That's what happens when these apps take a hold of you. I'm going to bed.

Anti-Ephemeralists Unite!

Have you ever tried to explain what Anti-Ephemeral PoMo Humanism is over really loud bar music? And then try to explain that, no, it's not pretentious, but it's really really exciting? Well that was my night last night, but it was good practice i guess.

To ease and address your anti-ephemeral needs for the day, check out this great article on anti-ephemeralism from Foot in Mouth - it brings up some great points and counter-points from artists such as Tere O'Connor and Adrienne Truscott, as well as curators like Carla Peterson. I'm planning on responding after i read it once more and get my ass to work. Good to know that there are others out there...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Room of One’s Own: Artistic Identity through Space OR Art Feng Shui

Recently I have focused my interests onto the idea of the habitat. I have been thinking a lot about how one goes about owning a space. First, the ground and the air above it are bought up and then that air is partitioned with the building of walls and floors: horizontal and vertical lines that help to better define the boundaries. Some of these boundaries are declared living spaces and we sign papers and hand over money to claim them as ours. And within these boundaries we move in, eager to hang our hats, to eat our favorite foods, to make our messes, to live.
We, as people living within this 21st century society, are people that want to highlight our individual-ness. We want to show that we have interests and all one has to do is look around a living room and one will see identity via the posters, books, music, DVD selection. With more subtlety, we also show our preferences in design and taste via furniture, color palette, pets, plants, food to eat. And it is true, I would say that everyone is different and those differences are incredibly valid and can even be what is interesting about someone. But we are looking at the rooms of a person, the residue of a human when they are not there.
So how can art play a major role within a personal space? We cannot deny that the space is functional, so people must be able to continue living their lives but how can you make that space art? This is quite different from adding art to the space. You can paint a picture and hang it on the wall, but how can you turn the space into a painting while maintaining the livability of the room?
Another fascination of mine is Donald Judd and he took the home and turned it into a space that was a permanent installation of his work (see image above. This is just a tiny part of this compound.). He moved from New York to Marfa, Texas and bought airplane hangers that were then turned into living, working and presentation spaces. He turned to building his own furniture and took complete control of the space and how anyone was going to experience it. Judd thought the museum model for the display of art was flawed. Within the space of the museum art comes and goes, at the mercy of the curator and exhibit theme. The impermanence of this set up led Judd to believe that truly understanding art or someone’s work is impossible if not available all the time until the end of time.
Fortunately for Judd, he had the means to take control of his own work and present it in an environment that was to his liking. And those compounds have been preserved and still exist to this day in the way that Judd set them up. Sadly, Marfa is not an easily accessible location so only people who know of Judd and seek out his compound are able to have this experience. So, how can I make my space here art? How can I give art to others buy building something in their space? For their space?
Perhaps this is a roundabout way to get to the ideas of installation and site-specific work, but I am not thinking of these definitions when I think about creation. I am thinking about space. I am thinking about spaces I know. I am thinking about people I know who own spaces. I am thinking about how my creativity is more interested in working on this level than creating something and then putting it on a stage. I am thinking about how galleries and stages and spaces meant for presentation are sterile. And they are sterile for a reason. They are meant to hold many ideas and dreams and projects. So what about going into a space that is truly lived in, mine that energy of the space and work from there?
What I have not developed for my own interest yet is the permanence of these installations. Maybe something I make is meant to be there, but maybe it is fleeting. More and more I am thinking about ideas in different mediums and each medium has a different length of time. Dance, for me, has taken on this translucent quality. I cannot imagine making anything that were to last and really I want it to disintegrate in front of the audience as they watch it. What I do know is that I am interested in the personal and the private. I want to invade these tiny rooms of others and present them with something. I want to take the tiny rooms I inhabit and make worlds. My life is art, so why not live in it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Really Alastair?

Here's a game we can play with some highlights from Alistair Macaulay's latest article. Which of these statements are problematic?
One way to make me happy is to show me a dance company in which everyone can turn to both the right and left. Dancers discover early that they pirouette more easily to one side or the other, and it’s astonishing how many dull-minded companies indulge them by letting them turn only in the most comfortable direction. When you see a dancer who revolves both ways, it shows not just facility but control, even wit. And when you see a whole company turning both ways, you feel you’re in a bright-minded climate.
Mr. Taylor loves, as too few Western choreographers do, the look of a woman’s pelvis tipping sideways, and nowhere does he celebrate this better than in “Private Domain.”
Only Robert Kleinendorst looks too stocky for ease. But I’m happy to watch him in much of the repertory, not least because he is the company’s funniest dancer.
(Hint: all of them.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

crash crash crash

Here's some new footage from the "sexytime" crash (crash #7 of 13) from 13 variations on a car crash. This was the first day of cristina and cory working on it together (they'd both learned it separately with other partners) so we still have a lot of little details to iron out. It's getting there!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why Sarah, what a smashing header that is!

Oh....this old thing?

Like? Dislike? Comments? Suggestions?
Just playing around with it today during some extra time at work...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A.O. @ Move the Frame

I keep telling you - you have GOT to check out Anna Brady Nuse's blog Move the Frame. Not because i'm writing on it, because she's awesome.

But I am writing on it.
Important things.
That i'm not writing here.

Specifically, a production blog for "Glass Tree in Harlem" and all else related, like the SIDEsubTEN project that's an offshoot of it.

Don't miss out - check it out HERE!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grocery List

I've made a grocery list.

Because when you find yourself in a car crash (Cory explains to me) the adrenaline sharpens you to a point where everything slows down, so much so that you have time to consider what you were supposed to buy at the grocery store, notice the woman walking her dog, and tell your body to go limp and just let it happen. Almost like when you're on the phone and someone says they're leaving and you have time to think "well this doesn't hurt" and realize you're making your grocery list all over again. Which is similar to when you're in bed and that breathy moment catches you and you touch your forehead to his or her forehead and everything stops, which is similar to when you're performing, and you aren't thinking, you're just doing, and then all of a sudden you're going, "milk, tomatoes, and maybe bread...i'll have to check on the bread..."

They're all the same, really.

Here's our list. Think hard about what you imagine our phrase looks like, and post a video or description of it.  Or your own list.  Or your own crash.
You know, for kicks.

Face wash
2% milk
Earl Gray
Butter (no - we already have butter)
Ice cream to go with the cake

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

As you (may) know, we'll be showing the first excerpt of this epic mass of stuff that we've been working on very very soon! Sunday April 12th to be precise, as part of danceNOW NYC's RAW showings. Car crashes have been sort of a fixation for me for a while now. Not the bloody, sudden, real ones, but the gorgeous, slow motion, sparkling ones.

I've been talking with Cory and Cristina (the "driver/passenger" for the piece...but abstract)about why i'm so fixated on them, and i think it's a few things.

1. Something about the sudden wreckage of a crash - that it's such a break from the way things normally are, to see sheet metal and glass and all those "strong" and "structural" elements ripped apart like that - keeps taking me back to feelings i had after the end of a certain relationship i emerged from about a year ago. How cliche, i know. But it certainly fits the piece, in that the slow motion study of these images is an attempt to enact or retain some sort of logic or control over something that a) has no control b) is governed by logic, but very unchangeable logic ie. physics and c) can't be undone even if you understand it. The piece itself (as a whole) aims to explore that space of visiting and revisiting - the search to find logic or clarity in something that is much more massive and out of control than yourself.

2. Something about how in slow motion you can isolate the moment when all the howevermany tons of car is completely in the air - it's almost like a lullaby.

3. The physics that make all car crashes pretty much the same. Inside of one, it must feel like the least organized, most instantaneous...crunch and thrash? There aren't really words for it. But looked at objectively from the outside it's pretty self explanatory. If the car is hit at this place at this speed, it will react in this way.

4. There's this whole sub-culture relating car crashes and sex. Recently watched the 199(6?) film Crash (no, not the race relations one) and didn't love it as a film (thought it lacked a lot of basic construction) but thought it was really interesting as a study. Also, Palahaniuk's Book "Rant" rocked my world this past summer, and i'll probably come around for another read sometime soon. When Adrienne was at rehearsal, she noticed a lot of the sexiness in the crashes that we had constructed so far, which surprised me as it hadn't been our focus. Since then we've made crash #7 - "sexytime". You'd like to see a clip of that one, wouldn't you? Well you can't. Not yet.

But enough po-mo mumble jumble, here's what i wanted to share with you: some of the best crashes i've found. It's worth watching till it gets to the slow-mo part, trust me!

And there's also this one, which won't embed, but is pretty cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZQMfb5naz8

Then of course there's the art of the cinematic car crash, for which the second matrix (in my humble opinion) takes the cake:


Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh Dear: a thumpy lullabye from the inside of my head.


1. I have been campaigning for the last week against my highschool's decision to cut the non-elective middle school dance program. Have also been working all week to be able to clear my schedule so that i can get to the meeting they'll be having about it friday morning in DC. Leave NY thurs at 9:30, DC for meeting 8-9am Fri, back in NY by Fri at 12? Not going to work. Having to choose between making art and engaging in arts advocacy is depressing. Knowing that no matter what you do or say, some people will never value you or the work you do is worse.

2. Too much snow, too much cold. Listening to lovely little lullaby's all day, in love with repetition.

3. Richert may have something to do with it.

4. Snow day today because it was raining on my computer at work through the ceiling. No joke. Nice to have some time for scheduling, blogging, and roomate-cuddling-tv-watching-time.

My this is personal.

Result: this little silly baby.

Slow Lift Evolving

Here's some rehearsal footage from the week before last, it's Caity and Cristina's "Slow Lift Evolving". We've been working on it on and off for over a month. Originally it was going to be for Carlos and Caity, but i've become quite attached to it in this pairing.

It was originally constructed to be a slow dance/slow lift sequence - it's something i've been trying to catch ever since i made one for Levon and Ariel in a comp class in college, and lacked the foresight to get it on film. Lost forever, how sad. This isn't the same thing at all, but some of the lovely parts are still there and still my favorites, specifically when the climbing gets effortful.

Lillie and Cory have also learned the sequence, but not to do with each other. The original idea was to have it be Carlos and Caity, which quickly morphed into the idea of having it be Carlos/Caity, Lillie/Julia, and Cristina/Cory. The dynamic would change a lot were it male and female, yes?

Still deciding how it will be...i'll let you know when i get it figured out...