Some thoughts on artists and events by Ellen Chenoweth:
Inspired by Kate’s writing and with a number of performances and experiences rattling around in my brain, I wanted to capture a few of them.
1. I’ve been noticing a welcome willingness to upset traditional formats. Jack Ferver in a work titled Mon Ma Mes, taking place at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York as part of APAP, opened the show by admitting that he had actually forgotten about this performance, was running late because he had been teching for another show, and was therefore going to open the evening with a Q&A session rather than dancing to allow himself some time to get into the mood. It was deliciously unclear how much of this text delivery was real, and how much was just messing around with the audience, likewise later stories involving crushes.
The writer Junot Diaz must be drinking from the same water. A couple of months ago, I saw Diaz deliver an electric reading / performance / lecture at ARC’s Facing Race conference. Diaz came onto the stage and announced that he was incredibly nervous, and was therefore going to take questions from the audience as a way of warming up and dealing with the nerves. This straying from the traditional format sent a crackle of excitement through the assembled audience of 800 or so.
2. Ferver’s Q&A session was a stacked deck though.