Gigs, dance, art

January 28th, 2011: Emio Greco & Hanspeter Kyburz – Double Points: Outis

@cité de la musique

Maybe I shouldn’t have read about it before the show. Reading that Emio Greco might be triggering some sounds through movement distracted me and that made me think his extended arms and hands were a way to overcome limitations of the technology. The point isn’t that this suspicion was right or wrong, what was wrong was that I took my eyes off the ball. I came to my senses because he had something going in his sinuous leg moves, despite keeping them bent low at the time. And in his second danced part there was something about his tilting/hopping/bouncing that caught my eye — though the lights were in the way and I could barely see him.

Still, that’s not much, and the singing parts were not my kind of thing — I don’t like that kind of voice. Of course, I’m not trained enough to understand the music, which I guess proved to big of a wall for me to climb. No surprise I didn’t like this show much, as I missed more than half of the point. I can’t complain though: they did warn it was for skilled listeners; I’m just not one.

January 30, 2011 Posted by | Dance, Music | , , | Leave a comment

December 17th, 2008: Emio Greco / Pieter C. Scholten – [purgatorio] POPOPERA

@théatre de la ville

Now that was much more like it. I do like Emio Greco as a dancer, and I think he was there, but I like this one much better than his solo I saw last week. I was only marginally better seated, but it was less of a problem because a lot of the action took place a bit further back on the stage.

The opening sequence with dancers laying guitars on the ground in the front wasn’t reassuring, but it seemed to take off as soon as this was done. One singer — dressed in black at first, then in gold — six dancers plus on fully dressed in black and ski mask — I think that was Emio Greco, but I can’t say for sure.

Having several dancers on stages opens up different possibilities, and in this case it was having each one having a slightly different personality on display — through the costume, but mainly through movement. The most obvious instance was when each dancer in turn would emerge from the group and face it on a side of the stage before joining it back again. Each one was different, I guess from what I read it was related to a cardinal sin, but I didn’t catch that reference and didn’t even try. This pattern was less obvious later but the idea was very much in there.

The dark figure was hovering in the back for the first half or so, but that kinda played into that scheme. Eventually he made incursions in the middle of the group, but always remained clearly separate, through his costume, his trajectory and his movements. The second half also had the other dancers grabbing guitars and actually playing — or at least fooling me into thinking they did. Not my favorite moment dance-wise, but the music was indeed compelling. The dance got back to being good quickly though.

Of course with six electric guitars I had to think of Rhys Chatham, but that was different, and that’s when I realized the Michael Gordon responsible for the music must be the one I know about — again I could have been fooled, but that would have to have been intentional and I think he’s not enough of a household name for that. This time the song from Eraserhead was briefly played in its original version before segueing into the Pixies cover. Nice reference again, but Michael Gordon would probably have done a better job of twisting it than the Pixies.

The music sure was more my kind of thing than during last week’s show, but I do think the dance is what made the difference. More diverse and just more interesting because of the variations between dancers. I really liked this one. So I hope I’ll get to [heaven] next year.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Dance | , | Leave a comment

December 10th, 2008: Emio Greco – [purgatorio] IN VISIONE

@théatre de la ville

Had I known it would conflict with Sonic Protest, I probably would have skipped this. I didn’t, so I still have a fair chance to see the whole series.

An unusual setup, with over twenty musicians in the back of the stage and Emio Greco the only dancer (expect at the very end). A bunch of metal spheres of different sizes on the ground, and a huge translucent ball overhead, on and through which some images were displayed. Unfortunately, I was way too close and on the side to see those. Too close for a lot, I’m afraid, and I base that on my previous experience with workds by him and Pieter C. Sholten. The stage design and lighting is usually a strong component, and I just knew I was missing most of it.

I thought there were a struggle in there, with some elements clearly coming from european classical dance, and others from a more contemporary source. But here it was not about subverting tradition — as with Garry Stewart last week — more an inner conflict coming out. As usual, Emio Greco was very good, with his mix of technique and physical presence. But I never really got beyond an intellectual appreciation. I basically failed to get it. But maybe it will make more sense next week with the other part of [purgatorio].

I’m blaming the seating first and foremost, but I don’t think a better situation would have made me like the part where he came back with a clown’s red ball of a nose. I remain immune to comedy. The final section was my favorite though, one where the initial struggle seemed to reach a balance of sort.

Several times, I’m pretty sure I heard the song of the lady in the radiator
from Eraserhead. It was so faint it could have been the cover by the Pixies, but anyway that’s a nice reference.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | Dance | , | Leave a comment