by Jameson Fink
Who doesn’t want to see a live performance that’s a retelling of a shooting at a school board meeting via music, dance, humor, strobe lights, fog, underwear, and discomfort? These were my somewhat skeptical thoughts I had as The Clay Duke was about to begin. (Though I will admit to being intrigued.)
Seemingly imbued with the power of clairvoyance, OtB Artistic Director Lane Czaplinksi anticipated my sentiment (which apparently was not confined only to the recesses of my nervous mind), writing about it in his Curator Note in the program. He concluded:
Cynics might have a hard time with this handling of subject through performance hijinks; others will appreciate that in grappling with complex issues and the “crazy feelings” that accompany difficult events sometimes the best response is to dance.
The program also contained an insert which had a message from Clay Duke’s widow, Rebecca. (Clay was the shooter who took his own life at the...
Seattle's first-ever 15-second dance film contest & screening party was held at On the Boards 12.7.13 as a Stompy's post-show event during Dayna Hanson's The Clay Duke Dec 7, 2013.
1st place winner: Alyza Del Pan Monley
2nd place winner: Colleen McNeary
3rd place winner: Ethan Folk
Check out this video - a collection of the submissions made for the contest.
Or search #otbdancefilmcontest13 on Instagram to find the individual submissions.
by Jim Kent
When I think of essence, I think of Herbal Essences shampoo ads, and watching them as a kid. The commercials were racy for a quiet 8 year old preacher’s kid from Minnesota, especially when attempting to empathize with the woman, what that must feel like for her. But my parents bought the product regardless. I remember using it in the shower and thinking, “This shampoo is the best thing I’ve ever smelled.” That stuff was serious.
Now the shampoo doesn’t quite have the same effect. With my underdeveloped 8 year-old palate, it was all heightened sensation to me, and it was designed that way. I could never do justice describing the fragrance in words now. It is a very time-and-place specific thing, getting to the pith of something. Like any olfactory association one makes, there are so many things at play when attempting to get to the crux of an experience.
Let's get pretense...
by Richard Lefebvre
I was excited to see this because I know some of these people and I like them. Plus I saw the Improvement Club which was cool, so I knew I would like this. I did, too. It was totally beyond my expectations. In my opinion you can never have enough oddly comedic dance pieces about random senseless tragedy. This is so subversive it's exciting. If it was on Youtube I could see the comments being hateful and you would get monitored by the NSA and the department of homeland security. But in a theatre, it's performance art so anyone who is in a position to arrest you without charge and hold you in a secret prison is too busy monitoring facial recognition software spying on people's Facebook photos to go to any shit like this. Plus Sarah Rudinoff is mesmerizing, she's so brilliant you start to get pissed off at...
by Koushik Ghosh
On the day that Mandela passed on, it is easy and necessary to celebrate another great African, Chinua Achebe, who wrote "Things Fall Apart." They do, with regularity, baffling us in the anthropomorphic world we have created over the past hundred and fifty years, hoping to construct Adam Smith's utopia. They fall apart in Dayna Hanson's "Clay Duke" ( watch the Youtube video of the same name, if you like), as they do in Achebe's world, in Chekov's microcosms, and Ibsen's families, much to our bafflement, as we modernists and post modernists, search for Darwinian sociology and 'natural selection' born of 'good' manners and 'good' government and 'good' policy, the 'good' American dream of prosperity, ignoring geologic time, the Iliad, the Mahabharata, the disruptions and the enduring human spirit, against all odds, hoping that the arc of history must in ever so small a way bend toward justice. They fall apart, because the order crumbles, within our lifetimes, despite all our...
"I think that the two Dukes together in their gesticulating, swaying, stomping, and decaying were compelling. They gave a feeling of knowing to the Duke’s humanness." – Common Observer reviews The Clay Duke
by Eric Pitsenbarger
This is as multi layered as it gets. I’ve often wondered aloud what it would be like to be that proverbial fly on the wall. A bug-eyed witness to events hidden from view by an air vent or rafter, gleaning interesting details only hinted at and with this production of Dayna Hansen’s “The Clay Duke” I got my wings. Partnered as I am to one of the principle players, who’s been working with Dayna and her chosen family of performers for several years now, I’ve been given the unique opportunity to buzz around the stage, privy to many of the multi-faceted, hard won and thoughtful details that have fed this production and at this point the epiphany for me is, what exactly will an audience do with all of these details?
It’s been a long collaborative process inspired by and coaxed from seemingly odd source material: A school shooting caught on camera. Focused to record mundane school board minutes, the film suddenly becomes harrowing journalism as it instead,...
Dec 6, 2013
by Dylan Ward
Sometimes I think back to community college sociology seminars; discussing how social problems are constructed. A problem is not a problem until it is made into a problem. The issue of an “issue” performance is the issue of why an issue is being made into an issue.
What came first; the chicken or the egg? The snake or the apple?
Dayna Hanson has a remarkable ability to raise an issue on transparent platforms. Her gift to the audience is herself and her cast, visibly raising it, whatever it is.
Clay Duke’s issue with his hostages (on YouTube, search “Clay Duke” and you should be able to find the video) could be described as the great unfairness of all things. Dayna’s issue is Duke.
Dayna and co. tenderly approach Duke and those involved with Duke, mimicking everything,...