Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Since Sunday

Here is the full review of Sunday's event at Castleton Festival on a site called Widening the I.

The Washington Post sent the classical music critic to review the event (article here). Since the performance featured stunning choreography it would have been valuable to read a review from the dance critic. I often wonder why we hear so little from DC's writers for mainstream publications about next generations of choreographers and performers....

There are some great up-and-comers in this area: on Monday I visited the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. I had been invited to speak to the International Teen Institute about the intersection of architecture and dance - my two favorite subjects - as they relate to site specific performance and flash mobs. I spoke about Bill Wasik and where/how flash mobs originated: interesting to see how something that started as a comment on consumerism has been overtaken by commercials and advertising (look at the T-Mobile mob here). After the talk, John Borstel, Humanities Director for the Dance Exchange, told me about this hilarious event by Improv Everywhere at Abercrombie.

Unexpected interventions are not a 21st century creation: in 1963 Robert Rauschenberg created a performance called Pelican  in a DC roller-rink. His work evokes the idea "Attack Complacency" which could also be applied to flash mobbers. Trisha Brown in 1971 created "Walking on the Wall" at the Whitney: on view again this September. And Bill Shannon makes performances out of his daily travel. These are some examples of fascinating work that brings us into contact with what attracts us to today's flash mobs: spontaneity, engagement, democracy, participation, and new ways of seeing the world -- and people -- around us.

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