Saturday, September 11, 2004

monstersquad is tba and today is september 11th 

monstersquad is TBA

no wonder Monstersquad is on the cover for the program of TBA - it is the epitome of time-based art. with a clock clicking down (today's part 1 starting at 58:00, ending at 38:21) the dancers of monstersquad balance, weave, push, pull, splash, connect, and hover in a rhythm not quite in sync with the excellent sounds of menomena but seemingly on a clock all their own. this was my first performance by monstersquad. my friend in the audience said he had seen what he referred to as "timed catastrophes" - monstersquad's "the events preceding" from june. upon hearing that i again thought of this day and september 11th (more later). at first i was filled with mundane questions - how wet will they get? will they stay balanced on those tiny blocks forever? how do they get dry enough again before the next show? but my pedestrian thoughts quickly faded as i was pulled in by the story of isolation and reaction. the women seemed to be saying - i'm going down, i'm getting wet, and you're coming down with me. then, as the music's mood shifted, the conversation changed. the movements seemed to say -trust me, lean on me, i'm here too. costumes, lighting and set were all excellent. in what seemed like a second act of the piece, the music and lighting changed, revealing to me for the first time the ripples created in the shallow pool. even the dancer balancing on her tiny blocks alone in the corner was not unaffected by the others. then i thought about how much of TBA is connected to the theme of water - monstersquad's shallow pool, headlong dance theatre, helen herbetson's aquatic sound effects and movements, lone twin (lone twin - talk about isolation and reaction) and i thought of the hurricanes coming one after the other. i thought about myself being protected from the outside world in this black box house of art - my own isolation as a reaction to the dangerous wet outside...just a silly coincidence in my head...after the performance my friend said he's more interested in the crisp precise movements than the...i interrupted with "spontaneous?" just as he said "rounded" and we saw how the words meant the same thing. i wondered if the timing of their movements was based on the music or on each other's choreography. i also wondered how much of the process of choreography and the composition were reactive or isolated - continuing the question of the piece itself...

today is september 11th

at friday's noontime chat, kristy mentioned, or at least implied, that this festival- the critical mass, the spirit, the "some kind of other energy" that emerges from it- couldn't happen in new york. after discussing the artistic and logistical relevance of september 11th to this year's TBA (themes, homeland security denying visas, etc.), i continued pushing the topic, asking if the idea for TBA started before or after 9/11. she said before. she went on to explain that the projects most artists did at last year's TBA also were created before and that many of them dealt with notions of aesthetic beauty, while this year - the projects created after, dealt with human anguish and involved a personal capacity to demonstrate something felt on a global scale. because tragedy continues to occur, because today is the anniversary, because my father was on his way to the world trade center and i was in DC on that day, and probably because our commander-in-chief has hijacked it as a campaign tool, i'm having trouble not dwelling on september 11th. i'm now selfishly going to use this post to hopefully get it out of my system and move on to other exciting perspectives and in-take possibilities for the future events of the festival. what interested me about kristy's comments was this difference. because of the turn-around nature of time, what we first perceived in the world was what was created before and adapted to after. now, we are seeing what's created after. i've been interested if i can see this change even in artists i've never seen before. i certainly feel it from a group like monstersquad who presented "timed catastrophes" and i sensed the vulnerability that i also feel when i saw helen herbertson's mostly indescribable piece. i know i still need to do a post on acdickson who i thought was a hoot. i'm waiting until i see his noon-time chat because i want a little more info before i spill my thoughts on him. two thoughts for now though. 1. andrew dickson seems to take the time of his life when he's not being an artist (i.e. being a powerseller on ebay) and turn it into a work of art. well, as someone whose life is almost entirely spent not being an artist, i'm envious and inspired. 2. he's sarcastically celebrating the uncontrollable success of capitalism. my thought - either we're finally able to make light of the symbolic object of september 11th's attack, or we're still oblivious to it.

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