Saturday night into Sunday Jun 13, 2011

by Vanessa DeWolf

I'm sleeping extra 'cause the images from the Mainstage keep entering my dreams and I'm not sure if I should remain seated….this causes me to be late and to often drift into some near sleeping state.

Mimi and I discuss over google-chat our experiences from Saturday night.
I love the way our minds float along in and out of association.
Sunday 3:45pm: I miss my bus.
I arrive at On the Boards a second time in two days.
My brilliant companion Karl Thunemann and I walk up the street.
He's a wonderful writer and storyteller from Studio Current and has become one of my best friends, someone I love to go see performance with.
It's good to walk up the street, turn the corner, to see that distinctive bubble-headed image….remind myself Mimi asked on Saturday night why the marquee so often has a person with something on their head (I think the current image of a man in a space-suit is from L'Effet de Serge? by Vivarium Studio)
We enter the little lobby of the Studio space. 
It still feels excitingly electric, I wonder if my dreams were accurate.
We are both nervous about finding seats.
This is the one time every year I see just about everyone I love & adore.  We are all so busy being artists, living lives, raising children, loving our partners and eking out little corners of time not in the studio.

Then we are seated, it's a bit hot, I'm sweating.
Did I dream last night of you all? 
Monday morning I wake on the couch.
on the couch where I fell asleep and even after both viewings it is hard always to say something about work I've seen evolve develop and grow in studio current and the images seeping into me, I'm as available to this work as if I had x-ray vision.

STUDIO SERIES: The lights go out.

Instead of giving you images and bits….these are questions that arose for me about viewing performance.  Challenging myself to give and build some ways to grow as a viewer and maybe also as a maker and encourager of other artists.

MULTIVERSE  by Kate Sanderson Holly
How do I take in text?  How do I accept characters?  What makes solo-work generous, or more precisely in this project do I accept the inquiry about complex ideas because of the character Kate embodies?  What makes me perceive a woman with a high-pitched sweet voice as a girl and not a woman? Is it possible not to feel complex philosophical ideas and one's about the nature of the universe without feeling like those ideas are so simplified they become lessons?  Do I feel this way because the artist only has 20 minutes? 

TRY TO HOVER (OR PRIVATE PRACTICE7) by Christin Call & Coriolis Dance Collective
How do choreographers who work with a ballet vernacular tell new stories?  What happens when it feels like there is a narrative in the work, that's mysterious and possibly unknowable, combined with the purely physically abstract images of bodies in movement? How do I read this work?  How can shape in ballet's movement convey meaning?  What's the urgency?  Who has been hurt?  Is this a hospital, mental hospital? Has there been a car accident?  Is the estrangement between couplings the result of illness?  Who needs medication?  With all that physical prowess on stage how to communicate illness weakness and vulnerability?  Why do I feel drawn to the loose dangling of a man's arm in a different way then a woman's arm?  How do I navigate my perceived notions of gender and illness? 

Intermission question via Mônica Mata Gilliam who was studying chinese medicine at the same time:
How does a powerful trained ballet body navigate the territory of contemporary performance without giving up that power and rigor?

Why is a child's imagination so enticing?  How do I empathize with a puppet?  If a cliche is used to convey information (hand to head with scratching as thinking) how do I continue to watch?  How do I journey with soundscape and image as ways of telling story?  Do I need to empathize?  How many times is too many times?  Where resides the magic?  What powers do we gain in sleep?  If it seems inevitable and then sure enough things unfold as expected do I nod knowingly?  How does one build physical specificity to tell a story?  Why rubber gloves?

ARE YOU STILL HUNGRY?  by Alice Gosti & Spaghetti Co.
What happens when you sit down to a meal and you are not hungry?  When the meal evokes disconnections?  Why is playing and foodfighting so much fun to watch?  Why do I perceive this Spaghetti Co edition so much darker then Something just happened at 1:19pm?   Who are these woman and how do they know each other?  Why do they wait for each other?  Why do they both throw spaghetti at each other and then in the same breath cradle a head so gently in a bowl of spaghetti?  I know they love each other, but I wonder why? The space outside is dark and lonely, and why is this there most intimately shared space?  Why is it so easy for me to accept the distant emotional territory of the domestic interior?  Why leave Anh alone?  Why am I riveted by the plastic home going up? Why is it magical enough for me to clap? 


UPSTAIRS MAINSTAGE VIEWING TWO with Karl Thunemann, Nadgia and Aaron.
These are a list of questions that arose over the course of the whole evening:
Why do I link lighting and world?
Okay this isn't a question just areas that I thought about often:  authenticity, the personal, the embodied, the exposed, the hidden, the uncertain, the breath, beauty and damages, violence, survival, coping & loss,
The empty space and the messy space…..elegance and the visceral…..
With pretty rigorous and complex and without solution how do artists propose ideas?
What is communication in performance?
Is there something about today that tells us something about the kinds of processes that result in works?
Where resides the reality of the work? 
If we accept that all the works come from the body, how is it I navigate meanings and realities from such a broad spectrum from the reality of the body in pure elegant movement to the body in movement through a wild-messy environment of detritus?
I suppose I'm asking about the location of metaphoric meaning that arises from the body.

thank you all you artists and your work.
thank you On The Boards (everyone of  you)