Essays on A Life
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Marron Atrium, Second Floor
The Show Must Go On
There are no chairs.
The performance is suppose to begin at 3pm
It's now 3:15 pm and nothing.
Members of the audience get up, walk to the front of the room,
line up and stare at the me.
The music starts. It's the Beatles.
The "dancers" begin to move.
But are they dancers?
In some cases, it is easy to tell by their body type;
but aware of each other.
The performers leave.
The Macarena plays.
All performers dance to it.
The performers leave the space and come back.
This was the first week of a three-week program of dance performances by contemporary choreographers at MoMA. Afterwards, choreographers, Jerome Bel and Steve Paxton (performance took place on Wed), Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, Dept. of Media and Performance Art and Ralph Lemon, guest curator and choreographer talked about the two dances.
Randomness, improvisation, humor, irony were all part of this performance.
Jerome Bel "You work on a dance for maybe 5 or 6 years. And when you perform it in a space like this, the audience can come and go, play with their iphones, tweat, whisper, rock their babies, watch from the sidelines and the floors above. There are no expectations. I don't know how to come to terms with that".
"He went on "Dance is activated by the performer. Even though a dance like the Macarena is ready-made, each performer does it differently".
It didn't matter. But nobody left. Whether it was the music that made it accessible or comfortable or the idea that you didn't know what would happen and you wanted to find out; the performance was transfixing. There is something similar in the way meadows develop: choreographed and yet unchoreographed. They evolve depending on the conditions. I only wish a meadow could be as engaging as this performance.