Sunday, September 12, 2004

John Jasperse Company Friday Night Part II 

The single wave of the dancers foot joins the single piano note. The Sculputure looms ahead, not yet encountered,
like dipping a testing toe in the water before taking the plunge. I was sitting close enough to see the next dancers enter, following a self imposed rhythm like a slow rocking metronome as the atonal score by composer Jonathan Bepler (think Barney's Cremaster films) took off.

At times noisy, at times familiar, at other times brash, and a few times corruptive the soundscape took its time entering the stage, truly more than an element of the production, it emerged as a character nee environment in its own right. Think weather, climate, full lunar eclipses and twilight. Like That kind of character. Unlike the hugeness of the sculputure's presence, the score worked like a webbing agent, holding the dancers without embracing them. A little dangerous at times, but always seductive, the way an intricate web is home to the spider.

The dancing happened inside, around, above and below the music. A few times the dance movements fell in with a particular beat, like the first 2 non-sychronized but parallel in time mesmerizing duets. Each pair used body to body contact, one pair on the floor, the other pair on their feet (mostly) following patterns that were at once fluid and awkward.

In Saturday's noontime chat, Jasperse's referred to his choices being articulations of contrasting energies because that exploration interests him. From the outset of California, this articulation was worked out. Pairing off of duets was just one word in this articulation but one that was worked with exceptional skill and richness throughout the night. Which pair do I follow? Do I attend to one over the other? Is my gaze wide enough to hold both pairs? Is one pair following the other? Is one pair counterpoint and the other melody? What is this all about? Felt questions that initially haunted many audience minds. But questions that dwindled away into curiousity and a sense of being rousted out of a set way of seeing, leading to opening up out of our mistaken repetitive aesthetic expectations and into something closer to the complexity of what it means to actually live and witness a life, or even a day, hour, minute in the life of..o, let's say, of oneself.

Lilian Gael

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