Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ladybox rocks the Sugarwomb

I'm clearly biased, but DAMN:
yall better watch out for Ladybox.

I was lucky enough to be invited to their B U I L Dstudio event out in CT a few weekends ago and see their newest collective/installation/movement/drag performance work SugarWomb. Working via a residency at the Peace Barn (a home/yoga center/15 acre property that occasionally hosts artists for the weekend) these Ladies produced a show that was visually interesting, playful, and creepy.
The audience was greeted by the ever-charming and perfectly on-point Host (Bailey, above in top hat) and led through the grounds as the performers presented short vignettes and stunning images using the space around them (beautiful woods, a creaky dock, large fields etc) as stage and set. Exploring ideas of "sugar" (ie: sweetness, candy, sex, money, tooth decay) and "womb" (ie: motherhood, fertility, umbilical cord, birth canal) the collective led the audience through a handful of embodied ideas and cross-associations blended with a glam-pop fashion sense. Something about the juxtaposition of the idyllic setting and the power-tulle aesthetic felt off, lingering in the back of your mind where you could quite locate it - slightly creepy or sad - and it highlighted the movement perfectly.
And did I mention it was all done in two days? Artistic Directors Saifan Shmerer and Vanessa Soudan put in weeks of prep work to make the residency a success (not to mention 150 yards of tulle), but the majority of the piece's construction was done this past weekend once the rest of the collective arrived in CT. After the show, Shmerer and Soudan articulated their process, describing how they communicated the images and word-associations to the Ladies (many of whom don't identify as "dancers" or "performers") and then let each choose their role in the performance and then flesh it out and create the costume.
I find Ladybox's business aesthetic refreshing - site-specific without falling into the trap of being obvious about the space or self-indulgent, low-budget but still striking and glamorous. It feels like these Ladies have found a way to make the art that they want to make within their economic situation, and not let the economy force them into a style or mode that ends up feeling like a representation of what could be one day, if only they had funding.

I'm looking forward to getting to see more of their work (and getting to work with Saifan if this funding for our project comes through...) and really recommend seeing them. If not for their end product, their approach alone merits more face time. There were some interesting feelings going around post-show that surfaced in the DTW dialogues a few days later about audience and power and money (especially in regards to comissioning - a specific offer was made at the post-show reception), but i'll have to save those for another post.

I'll be helping them with some video and blog work, so i'll be sure to keep you posted on all their happenings.
special thanks to Mike McCulley for the photos

Thursday, May 21, 2009

As always...

have a few posts in the works, but not enough time to post them.

In the meantime, check out the sweaty slow-mo man-fight in the new sherlock holmes trailer. love it love it love it.

We're headed back into the studio now that we're done with our THROW performance (thank you thank you thank you those of you that came to support us! we hope you had as much fun as we did!) and will be both re-vamping 13 Variations on a Car Crash and trying to incorporate some of the feedback on SLFdstrcTV that we've received thus far. So yes, i'm getting all that lovely slow-mo-po-mo aesthetic back in my head!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Too good to not share...

Forget from Michael Fragstein on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dancewriter manifesto

Our assignment this week from Claudia's class.
I know i said i'd be posting my work, but this is only the second one so far i've felt comfortable posting. I'm working on re-writes of three, and will post [or not] eventually. The assignment for this week was our artist statement/manifesto as dance critics.


Dancewriter manifesto as of 5.13.09 @ 1:56pm // Sarah A.O. Rosner


Let’s be frank, shall we?

It is not, has never been, and will never be my job to judge, proclaim value, describe the work, say what I would do differently, attempt unbias, pretend authority, project pretension, or suggest omnipotence. I am not a critic, a library, a celebrity guest judge, or a mind reader.

As a dancewriter, a fallible human insider to the dance community and a ravenous creator of my own work, it is my intension to be a transparent and available information source via the written word about captured instances of the body in motion. It is my job to be honest [brutally and tenderly], to provoke, question, and examine. It is my job to relate, connect, and link—pulling ideas, images, and artists through history and across state, media, and/or economic lines to embrace and have at each other. It is my job to expose the urgency of art making, and problematize its current modes of production—artistic, emotional, and economic. It is my job, above all, to love this thing called dance [which we can’t define] with a feral veracity and loquacious ravenousness, and make the consequences and journey of that love transparent to you.

It is my mission to give you, gentle reader, what I have in the form of information, insight, detail, process, and questions. To make you not so gentle by osmosis, to allow you to bear witness to a constant grappling with what I seek out or find in front of me. Economy, society, funding, design, networks, anatomy, typography, choreography, performance, sex, gender, organs, bones, fingernails – I reject the current paradigm of dance criticism, of performance, of and dancemaking, and want to know if you do too.

I will not be ephemeral! I will not be clear! As in my dance work, I reject these notions, and dedicate myself to investigating formats of complexity that remain accessible to all.

////////////Is this making sense to you?///////////////////////////////////////////

What we are here to do, you and I, is to find the new answers, new systems, new media. What we are here to do, is amplify our knowledge and evolve the forms. To accomplish this we need honesty, passionate opinions, and open dialogue. I will thrust myself and my art open to you, oh reader, and you, oh you, will yell back at me. I do not strive for fully-functioning arguments [only interesting ideas], and I am not interested in finding all-encompassing answers [only searching].

The arrival is unimportant, only the gnawing counts.

What is your manifesto as an artist?
What is your manifesto as a reader?

What is your manifesto as a dancer in a piece where you don’t dance?

What is your manifesto as the old man in front of me last night who wanted to leave at intermission but didn’t?

What is your manifesto as Isadora Duncan, as James Bond, as Ronald Regan?

What is your manifesto as the choreographer who is already burning out?

What is your manifesto as the Male Dancer?

What is your manifesto as “I don’t get it”?

What is your manifesto as an emerging artist (fiscal sponsorship pending)?

What is your manifesto now at this yes this very moment? Imperfect? Evolving?


I want to know how we collide.

The arrival is unimportant, only the gnawing counts.

Friday, May 8, 2009


So...MTV just emailed me becuase of this blog. No shit.
They said (and i quote):

"MTV has recognized that you and your readers are serious about dancing"

ow kind.

want us to enter this dance-off competition thing they're doing to promote that new "dance flick" parody movie they're releasing soon.

Nooooooooooooo MTV, you've got it all wrong.
We're not your bitches, thanks.

Fun though to get an email from you!
Let's talk contracts sometime soon. When you want to get back to the level of cultural literacy and artistic excitement that you started with, give me a call. I'll reinvent your dance programing, make some dancefilms for you to play as music videos, ads, operas, or a mini-series.

Seriously, stop treating artists like reality-show contestants, and we'll talk.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Perspective from an outside eye...

As you may or may not know, the AOMC has been shifting around a bit lately, and looking for dancers (we are, of course, still casting about for male dancers). One of the dancers who came to the rehearsal blogged about it here. Check it out!