Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Talasek: Dance and performance art

From: JD Talasek

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2007 15:29:40 -0500

Although I’m not actively participating as a panelist, I’m going to exercise my director’s prerogative and interject a comment.

In addition to earlier references to theater and cinema (Djerassi’s plays and Cuir’s reference to eXistenZ) , I would like to add a timely example of dance and performance art to the mix for consideration . While in New York launching the symposium with Suzanne, I attended a performance of The Forsythe Company’s North American premier of “You Made Me a Monster” performed at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. (

The installation performance combined dance, vocals, and the creation of a sonic environment with an installation of disturbingly beautiful skeletal models made out of card board cut outs. The models, which the audience was encouraged to build onto, were “read” by the dancers as a score for their improvisations. Text provided in the space suggested that the work chronicled a body besieged by cancer. The idea that a model of the body created by the spectator was then responsible for influencing the dancer (thus creating the “monster”) is intriguing because it suggests the power of models to influence, correctly or incorrectly, our perceptions of self, body and disease.
Also, the physical experience resonated with Max’s comments on the response to his photographs. The dancers’ vocabulary was tortured and they danced in close proximity to the audience creating noticeable discomfort in the audience.
Images: Copyright The Forsythe Company Photos by Marion Rossi
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