Intervention (aka, Save me Trisha Brown)



We don’t have time for this.

That’s seriously how I felt as I trudged through the show on Thursday night.

You know, I wasn’t even going to write about it, until I saw it. And you know there’s a problem when a work inspires you to write about it out of a need to intervene between it and the artist, hoping to snap her out of whatever daze of contentment has apparently set in over the imagination, and urging her, begging her, to get serious.

I could be totally wrong here. It’s been known to happen. I’ve not been pleased with a lot of the performance I’ve seen recently. If some thing/moment/idea/execution grates against my sensibility early on, I seem to turn on the performance with a brutish force that is hard to abate. Furthermore, I’ve been having a hard time feeling at performances; or, rather, feeling anything more magnificent and inspiring than when the lights go down at the beginning; a rush and a quiet recess into oblivion, before the lights come back on and three people are clinging to a wall with holes cut into it, with a kaleidoscope of images–like every other kaleidoscope of images I have ever seen on-stage–washing their black and white painter’s uniform in shifting, if perfunctory dynamics of light.

It’s an old piece, Planes (1968). The idea is brilliant. Execution ok (honestly bothersome when you can see the performers change their minds, disrupting what should ((I think)) be fluid).

Who should I blame for the projections? You or Merce? Who started this all? This fact that video projection is the criterion of intellectually condoned performance in our time? Have we come full circle, from occidental, to irrelevant? The whole thing felt meaningless; not out of a need for interpretation to elicit meaning, but for a thing to have been chosen out of absolute necessity and inspiration.

Conversely, the best thing about O zlozony / O composite was the starry backdrop (thanks, Vija Celmins), beckoning me toward oblivion; to weightlessness; calling me back to the opening black out. Instead, I have to wrestle with why you’ve chosen to create these movements; to dance at all. Those little quirks can be endearing–they’re so human, I suppose–but sometimes feel a bit eccentric, too human, maybe; or just too much about you. Continue reading