Gigs, dance, art

April 15th, 2010: Lucinda Childs

@théatre de la ville

So much for keeping this thing up to date, but I was off from work and somehow I felt like it should apply to this blog as well. Maybe a sign this thing has run its course.

I probably was seated way too close to the stage for what Lucinda Childs had in mind, but I think it turned out to be a good thing. But more on that later.

I liked the first part better. Songs from Before is much more recent, but it’s only part of the point. Those lines with dancers walking across the stage were just what I expected, but soon they stopped and added duets that were part what I expected but also something much more involved than what I just wasn’t expecting from a choreographer I tend to associate with the abstract, and with another company to boot. It may be relative, but it was a jolt. Plus the stage setting was just perfect. Those alternating strips of transparent and reflective material made for a great sensory experience when the pace picked up. And that’s when I was glad to be so close, because for all the abstract and downright geometrical side of it, I could see the sweat and effort it took to get it done. I hope that wasn’t intentional — because few people could see that — but it’s what made this performance better for me.

Dance was more of a letdown. Being so close the film part was just out of my reach. Fair enough as the closeness was such a positive thing for the first part. But I just got that icy feeling that I was watching past history. I could clearly see what this all owed to Cunningham. And I could just as clearly see what some of my favorite choreographers owe to her. This particular piece seemed to react against its being locked into some museum room yet, but its predictability said it belonged there. I think the piece itself has run its course and is an important part of dance history. But I also think its legacy is far from settled. In my opinion, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Brice Leroux are different paths that have some relevance, in totally different ways. But still, I think they own some kind of debt to the ground this particular piece broke in its time.

Still, what about the dance itself? Well there was a lot of Cunningham’s influence in my opinion, in that it lacked room for the dancers to stake their ground, which is the negative way of stating what De Keersmaeker got so amazingly right. But it’s probably easier to transmit too. I think it was a good fit for these dancers, which is both praise for their ability to rise to the task and a questioning of the ability of such a repertoire body to take over from choreographers who have taken the idea of an individual performer a little bit further.

My words are so inadequate for what remains a great moment in dance history. But I’m from the next generation, which is already obsolete too.


April 22, 2010 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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