Saturday, May 1, 2010

Exposure to new art forms and writing about it

So, last night my lady friend and I went to National Arts Centre to see an interpretive dance piece called Miroku starring and choreographed by Saburo Teshigawara. He's Japanese, in case that part was obtuse...

Here's the write-up from the NAC people .

Now, I'm not going to say if it was good or bad, because it's not like I've seen dozens of Japanese interpretive dance performances. How do you gauge the quality of something for which you have no scale of measurement? I'll provide the following observations and you can judge for yourselves:

1 - VERY glad I was high. Just sayin'

2 - There was a fascinating disconnect in that the music was, at times, like the ambient filler music from a Ridley Scott film, but Teshigawara was moving around and flailing to the "non-music". It was interesting to see how he was pulling out a rhythm from it. Reminded me of people who can somehow dance to Gabber or ambient Industrial...

3 - There was a kind of tongue-in-cheek quality that came across. At least I hope it was tongue-in-cheek, otherwise it was about as artsy-cheese as you can get! There was a part with a light bulb that was otherworldly, but also made me think "Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!" Is Saburo Japanese for Deiter?

4 - I probably would not have paid the 35$ the NAC was charging - glad Kari's got connections to free art.

5 - It was definitely like nothing I've ever seen, but then again, the last dance performance I've seen was in Prague in 1999.

6 - Was it life-changing? Not really. Was it the 'Voice of Fire' of dance theatre? Heck no.

Now, that all being said, this is a blog about exercising the writer's brain in more creative, artistic fashion. So let's get to it!

May 1 2010

A lean form, carved in musculature and sinew, stands sheathed by light, with a wall of sound surrounding him. If this is a dance piece, it is the art of stillness, an almost Taoist expression of dance. But just as the eye settles in on the acceptance of the stillness, a flurry of movement begins - shoulder, bicep, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers all spin at a blurry speed. The movement and the music are disconnected, but somehow meld together as the beholder's eyes and ears synchronize. The dancer knows something the audience doesn't, but we're learning, we're catching up.

The performance crests and ebbs, at times dragging, at times challenging, at times comical, but always interesting. The illusions of lighting and movement are meticulously crafted, but it's hard to understand the method. And when it ends, much of the audience is elated at the performance, others are applauding with furrowed brow.

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