It is an extremely difficult thing to translate ideas across languages, and perhaps more so to translate them across aesthetic forms and mediums. In William Forsythes Decreation, Forsythe attempts to translate poet-translator Anne Carsons 2005 book of poetry, essay, and opera, Decreation, into a movement and language-based performance.
Replay as Revivification: PARADES & CHANGES, REPLAYS AT DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP, PERFORMA 09, November 18th, 2009By Thom Donovan
When art historians eventually look back on the aughts, I think it will be said that the predominant art form of this decade was the reenactment, works that replay or redo previous works of art or cultural texts.
While many choreographers dance in their productions, I wonder how often a choreographer writes for their works. Miguel Gutierrezs book of performance texts, When You Rise Up, shows a readership that dance, too, can be language intensive, if not the extension of a poetics (as Eileen Myles suggests in a blurb to the book, these texts in fact comprise a kind of poetry).
If the current environmental crisis proves anything, it is how unnatural nature actually is. Which is to say, how increasingly what has been perceived as natural is contingent on human involvement and error. Kathy Westwaters latest work, PARK, conceived in collaboration with poet Jennifer Scappettone, extends her preoccupations with the horrors of the body, a subject which she explored in her 2008 work Macho.
There are a lot of reasons to make art about the weather right now, the most obvious being climate change. Rebecca Daviss what Im saying is born from the weather may be addressing the fate of our climate system. More likely, though, she is evoking the weather as a fundamental force of change and becoming.
Xavier Le Roys Self Unfinished, which I viewed in a packed audience at the Museum of Modern Art in early February, is among a series of works by Le Roy exploring the limits of what, recalling Baruch Spinoza, a body can do. Given Le Roys background in biology (he holds a Ph.D. in that field), one cannot help but think about the influence of the hard sciences on his choreography.
For Yvonne Rainer, dance is text. I suppose this has been said many times before. But it bears repeating, given her March performances at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, organized by Performa: Spiraling Down (2008), and the American premiere of Assisted Living: Good Sports 2 (2011).
It is telling to me that Rachid Ouramdanes Ordinary Witnesses, which had its New York premiere at New York Live Arts in October, begins not with the sense of sight, but with a demand upon its audience to listen.
Choir Praxis: On Daria Fains and Robert Kociks Phoneme Choir Movement Research Festival, Judson Memorial Church, May 4, 2009By Thom Donovan
A phoneme is the smallest sound unit by which we distinguish one word from another. There are more phonemes (upwards of 40 in English) than letters of the alphabet because some letters represent two or more sounds
Heather Kravass The Green Surround is replete with references to the training of dancers, especially with regard to classical ballet. The setting for the work, we are told in the press release, is in fact a ballet studio.
Thom Donovan edits the weblog Wild Horses Of Fire, now in its 7th year. His book, The Hole (2012), published by Displaced Press, can be purchased through Small Press Distribution. He is currently at work revising and editing a book of essays and statements, provisionally titled Sovereignty and Us.