MR Festival 2008: The 80's and 90's On Screen - Dance Relics by Eva Yaa Asantewaa

by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
MR Festival Spring 2008: Somewhere Out There

Judson Church's gym. Engulfed by this metallic, swarming roar with an uncanny, regular pulse. Maybe a hundred dancers talking all at once over loud music. Clothing and skin no match for this energy. Indestructible and frightening. Voices pitched through instruments of exploration and whimsy and revolution. Later, we get the visuals: Downtown dance in the 80's...90's... Bodies in spaces. Paxton, a kind of drunken asterisk, and that asterisk is the kind of drunk who can stay on his feet no matter what. And Jones said, "Umm...that's good. Umm...that's real good." I'm drawn to the sneaky control freaks, the ones who get the lavish, good stuff from chaos but then apply science and self-discipline. The ones who know what to do and how to do it. Like Dancenoise. Those scary girls who know exactly what they're doing and how to do it. I'm blown away by formal serious unserious brilliance up North and want more of it. And more of the wildly springing Yvonne Meier and the tilting, tumbling, rumbling Jennifer Monson, those Hot House flowers, raucous in their space and with each other, evolving shapes, blooming and disintegrating them, cannibalizing each other. I feel myself shrink back from anyone isolated in his or her space, not connecting to it or to anyone else or to the outside world, anyone overly, cleverly in love with fingers and wrists and shoulders in a raw void. "I've felt that some of my predecessors don't care that I'm there as an audience," said Jones. I learn from this marathon screening (which I abandon at half-time) that I'm engaged when dancers relate to someone/thing, anyone/thing besides what's in their own heads at any given moment. That works best for me. It doesn't have to be me as audience. It can be the space (Meier and Monson) or what's in it, if it isn't bare (Paxton with that cradle and that rocking chair), and it is best when it is at least one other human body on the move.

Eva Yaa Asantewaa InfiniteBody

relate to-

Submitted by Alejandra Martorell on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 11:59pm.

Thank you Eva for these notes on this evening. I am happy to read your statement of when things "work best for" you. You've said it so simply and sometimes it feels very complex, but simplicity serves well here. It is not necessarily about subject matter, is it? But it is about relationality, like Paxton shifting his gaze from the cradle to the rocking chair, and back again - the stuff in between - the meaning that's created, not told.

I majorly enjoyed RoseAnne Spradlin's piece, which was first after "intermission" and I'm sorry to hear you missed. (I left right after that one.) I was at a poetry reading today and thought back on watching that solo on video and wondered how much more wonderful it would have been to see it live, and it dawn on me the removed nature of the whole of the experience of the screenings and how used to that mediation we are.

I also did rejoic in the energy and enthusiasm in the room -the aliveness of the meeting of generations looking back and being the forward.


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Eva Yaa Asantewaa, MR Festival Spring 2008, The 80's and 90's On Screen


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