Kate Wallich has put together a team of talented artists for an honest and relevant performance. Combining their strengths she presented one of the most innovative productions I have ever seen at On the Boards. Splurgeland made me cringe at the crutches of our lazy modern social lives and simultaneously sit in awe at the ability of people to work hard together and create something remarkable that has never been done before.
I was captivated by the athleticism, mastery of technique, focus and intention embodied by the performers. The cool and calm of these super humans encouraged me to really be there in that moment. Over the last few years Wallich has built a robust but identifiable movement vocabulary. Her choreography calculates space between wide spread fingers and precision of beveled ankles. The strong partnering and precise group movement is a byproduct of a lot of time together in studios -- it paid off when they conquered space and time last night – perhaps Matt...
The stage is curtainless and the walls exposed, with two abstract paintings hanging from the ceiling. On the left, potted plants are scattered amongst brilliantly white shoes and a basketball of the same color. Before the show begins, a video is playing, projected on the wall above the plants. The video contains a stereotypical party found at a fraternity or the home of a teen with temporarily absent parents, featuring drinking and dancing. This is the beginning of up-and-coming choreographer Kate Wallish’s new work, Splurge Land.
When the dancing begins, the ominous feeling seeps in. The dancers are frantic and capricious in their irregular and unexpected movements. Wallich has created a forest of arms and legs that jerk and twitch with the music. Sometimes they slowly melt into elastic shapes, other times performing jabbing motions in quick repetition with robotic finesse, all the while sliding over a shiny, white, plastic-looking floor.
Dark. Daunting. Dangerous. This is the aura emanating from the video playing on the wall as you wait for the show to start. A rowdy party with alcohol and dancing wouldn’t usually seem ominous, but On the Boards’ Splurge Land by Kate Wallich/The YC made it just that, very fitting given the mood of the dance. The show starts with the epitome of two girls going to the gym, trying to impress the hot guys, dressed in Juicy Couture jumpsuits, "working out" seductively. The floor is so slick that their motions mirror that of figure skaters. As the performance progresses, you realize that the four dancers are either all doing radically different things or are perfectly synchronized, yet separate. There is never an emotional connection between the dancers: always a disconnect. One memorable moment included Kate Wallich and Lavinia Vago twirling in circles at center stage, while Matt Drew and Waldean Nelson wall twerked in the corner and texted others by themselves. When the...
When someone is lonely amidst people, they're even more alone.
What does it mean if you're embracing someone intimately, but nothing changes for them when you leave? When they don't even seem to notice? In retrospect, did an intimate embrace even happen, or were you just putting on a good show?
I'm watching a performer not watch the performance and Instagram instead. So am I still watching the performance? A performance of not performing?
These are some seriously gorgeous dancers.
Did they just hold a party at the Splurge God's pad and not invite the Splurge God? Harsh. But he seems to know the dance steps from the party anyway.p
They're making all the symbols of a party--music, dancing, grinding, smoking, drinking, hanging on the couch--but is it really a party if there's not human connection? If no one at the party is having fun?
Kate Wallich's Splurge Land also approaches the subject of personal freedom, with a focus on a very different demographic. "Splurge Land is about the sad undertones and subtext of the post-internet generation," says Wallich. "I find the relationships that people have with the internet to be so sad; there are all these false realities that make us have this extra emotional junk. These potentially fake relationships that develop on the internet allow us to be really picky about how we present ourselves, we design a filter that decides who we are to...
Visual artist JD Banke is a NW visual artist dubbed the "king of slacker bohemia" by City Arts Magazine. His paintings are pastel-colored snapshots of a particular Millenial Generation vision. Read more about Banke in this article and see more works at his website.
Musician and producer Johnny Goss is the mastermind behind Splurge Land's gorgeously foreboding score. Goss is known for work with his dreamy analog-synth band Cock & Swan (with Ola Hungerford) as well as his work producing bands including La Luz and Lonesome Shack. Watch Cock & Swan here and check out a Q&A with Goss on kexp.