Well, well, well. We’re back and we’re bad, and we’ve resuscitated the DUCHIES (pronounced, DOUCHE-ees) because Jenny D.’s recent review of a mixed bill at BRIC Studios in Brooklyn has us fired up. The interesting thing is that C.C. was personally involved and invested in one of the pieces she took down.
Now, before we all start tearing our hair out and screaming, “But you can’t criticize a review of something you were part of!”, I can. Not only is this a blog, and therefore, I make up the rules. But, I can’t think of anything more healthy than an artist responding to a critic in a manner that is thoughtful and critical. Why is this dialog not happening in the first place? Why are artists afraid of critics, and vice versa? Well, there are probably a lot of reasons. But the greatest value the medium of bloggery has, a value that is sadly underemployed, is the way it can mediate immediacy in discourse and public discussion. It’s an experiment, but here goes.
According to J. Dog, “the program was a flaccid and dispiriting affair.” And she’s partially right. Only two of the night’s five acts, all curated by Ishmael Houston Jones, were at all interesting or moving.
The first of these was Pele Bausch’s “ism”, where she and Christine Sandifer gently moved about the space, their bodies wrapped in plastic bags that have be stuffed under flesh-tone nylons, so that with each miniscule movement, you heard a soft, swishing of crinkling plastic, like gentle sheets of rain falling on leaves. It really was magical in its way; the sound creating a total aural analog to the entire force and presence of the human body. In this regard, I think J. Dog under-recognized them.
Now, the second, and here’s where it gets fun, was the solo “Empty Every Night” by dance artist, Jeremy Laverdure. Jeremy is not only a friend of mine of several years, but he and I are actually collaborating on a dance piece together, some of which found its way into his solo (with my acquiescence). This means, not only do I have a vested interest in the success of some of the choreography, but I also have the inside creative scoop on how some of the choreography came about, which, in this particular instance of dance, is deeply important: The opening moments of Jeremy’s solo were lifted from Jerome Robbin’s “Afternoon of a Faun.” Continue reading