counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

November 16th, 2010: Yasuko Yokoshi – Tyler Tyler

@abbesses

I ended up sitting in the last row because I gave away my much better situated seat the next day to go to a gig. Maybe that played a part in my not enjoyed is as much as I could have, but I liked the bird’s eye view. I couldn’t see much of the facial expressions of the dancers, but I had a nice perspective of the group sequences.

I don’t know anything about Kabuki, I haven’t seen a single performance. So I guess a lot of what Yasuko Yokoshi aimed at went over my head, because I couldn’t help but pick up on the ironic treatment of the music — and didn’t like it much, by the way, especially the prettifying of Cat Power’s American Flag.  With those two out of the way, I did like this show. The contrast between American and Japanese dancers wasn’t that marked, as evidenced when they acted as a group with those shiny silver fans. Their clothes and parts were different, and I guess the latter was in part playing on each one’s strength, but there was common ground too, and the American dancers went beyond the usual moves, so I guess the same held true for the others. I know I missed half of it, but what I did get was interesting.

Even on the “western” side of it, there were things I liked for their own sake. I loved the relation of the dancers to the ground. The way Julie Alexander went down early on with a sweep of her legs and skirt was something I’ll remember for a while. But whenever a dancer crouched or lied down, something interesting was going on. I probably would have missed that had I not been sitting in the nose-bleed section, so maybe I should start going twice to dance shows, just to get that different view.

The group sequences were very nice, especially when they would move in sync then differently but with echoes that made me think they might have just been doing the same thing with a delay. I guess I could have tried to figure that out, but I was too caught in the flow of it to pay attention to that at the time. The fans were a focus at times, but at others they didn’t seem as important to me as the hands. There I wish I had been closer to pick up more of the wrist gestures. I only got tantalizing glimpses from up there.

Overall, I liked the show despite the music, even though that was what first made me eager to attend. I think I understand the intent of the soundtrack, but I still don’t like it. The slide whistle was grating for me, and then I made a conscious effort to ignore the music. There was a little too much irony at work there for me, and in parts of the dance too. But it only spoiled it a little, and the dance was usually interesting enough for me to just not pay attention to it.

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December 4, 2010 - Posted by | Dance | ,

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