Quartet and the muse Jun 10, 2007

by Dipika

Today a couple of dancers were doing some improv stuff in a garden in Capitol Hill. Wow!, I thought. And I just saw dance at On the Boards last night. One of today's improv dancers--a kind-faced girl with long brown hair backlit by the setting sun--came up to me with a homemade business card. She said her name was Monica.  “Come to another one of our performances sometime, ” she said. "We're QuartetDance, and we like to do our own works outside around the city." I was curious. She went on. "Normally dancers' audiences are, well, other dancers and their friends." This seemed to check with what I observed last night. Quartet wants other people to see dance, too. The show last night reminded me that above all, art is the place where you can escape—from people, pressures, idealism, pain. It's where it's okay to lose track of ordinary modes of being, and throw out scales of time. I was a little nervous, at first. One of the box office folks walked straight up to some people and said,  “You guys are performers, right? ” The reply:  “Can you tell by the way we’re dressed? ” Group identity stuff worries me a bit. But the first act put my mind immediately at ease. Erin Jorgensen: This was the first time I heard Schubert's piece An Die Musik. What a treat, three rows and center stage away from my eyes and ears. Poetry and voice. So sweet and soft, like a garland of pink flowers placed lovingly about your neck. Maika Misumi Movement Troupe: Remember in Kill Bill 2 when Uma Thurman's character goes around with her swords all the time? How about the scene where she takes on all those martial arts dudes? I'm no Tarantino fan, but couldn't help the recall here. Also thought back to the play Waiting for Godot, because of that sole tree. Deborah Wolf: This one reminded me of the video game Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. There were a lot of people making small punchy moves and it was kind of fun. Everyone had red outfits on, kind of loose, and moved really fast. Sweat was flying about and it was all quite a workout. I have to admit I kept thinking they would break out into some song or another from Fame, and was literally quite dumbfounded when at the very end the whole group—about a dozen—came forward, raising their hands to the sky with expressions of sheer triumph. I wanna live forever ”¦. Implied Violence: Okay, you know how there’s that buzz word going around about how people in the 18-34 age bracket concentrate on seven pieces of social and media consumption at a time? They call it continuous partial attention. With a cacophony of sounds and colors, along with constructions of very awkward moments of human dialogue, it was hard to really focus on anything at all. Which I think was the point. Like watching eight channels of television all at the same time. I've been in a broadcast television newsroom, and that’s exactly what it's like! Minus the pie in the face scene, of course. --DK