Manifesto by Ilvs Strauss – They looked at the sea cucumber. “You can try to touch it.” “No, I don’t want to touch it.” “Try it!” “No.” “Try it!” “Why don’t you try touching it!”…….. Her lying still on the floor, meditating on the concept of production of life, something that will continue to live after one has gone; something you will make for this world. Clothes, shoes, candy snacks were taken out of the bag of sea cucumber and reincarnated into their next life when they were put on by her, put into her mouth and became part of her body. The harmony of choir and strings of singing from whales called people’s memory of the power and life magic of the ocean.
Hummingbird by Linda Austin – The old post modernist? To see her as my grandma? The sexy – the not so sexy? The stubborn the stubborn the stubborn………. No, she is definitely beautiful and I love the artistry...
I know that my Google Calendar and the lengths of days would disagree, but for me summer officially begins when On The Boards kicks off NW New Works. There is just something so special about this huge pile of new works performed by a vast array of artists that gives the feeling of a shift. It's a cultural solstice of sorts. A renewing of the energies that sends us off on the next season's adventure. The 2014 NW New Works solstice got off to a great start.
I'll go out of order because the opening and closing performances (ilvs strauss's Manifesto and Sarah Rudinoff's Is This Real Life?) felt like two sides of the same coin. Both started as absurd comedies. ilvs is pregnant, and Sarah is putting her vagina on toast. And while both delivered on that comedic premise, what made them both specia is that they also told personal stories about both of these artists.
I've been lucky enough to see three different versions of Manifesto as ilvs has developed it over...
I went to the main stage show at NorthWest New Works last night and here is what I saw and some compliments about them:
The Pendleton House
Distressed women cut in half by lines and trains. Underneath a subway. The fun thing about this piece is the unabashed devotion to the aesthetic of it. The piece is on the surface, and this is a compliment. Each curved hand, balled fist, dropped foot into the floor, train sound, color, each means what it means, and does so frankly. It is dance and it is music and it is distinct.
I’ve never seen Kyle; and because of his title (Ham Sandwich) I thought the piece would be funny. Like a Ham Sandwich would talk and he’d sing along. Or something.
This is not what happened. Kyle’s movement, under Kate Wallich...
It’s all very dark. Dark and oily slick. The looming dark foreboding, pressing down, pushing in, seeping from underneath to drown everything in shadow. The zeitgeist of cool detachment, of heavy import and of skating just above the void. It could all be a playbook for our collective unconscious. Repelled by the implied violence yet inexplicably drawn towards the edge. Sexy, thick and pounding, projecting a somnambulant emotionless über, this show could have been titled: NW New Nihilism.
Pendelton House starts it off right, crawling in and thrashing about on a projected Zoe Scofield blood red line. As they writhed and grappled with each other and with something always beyond their grasp, driven by some sort of animal lust, I was given a sense of my own emotional body sometimes torn between and frustrated by the vagaries of fragmented thought.
ilvs strauss is pregnant! She's suddenly so ready to pop I can hear the ocean. She's been volunteering at the Seattle aquarium and her days spent smacking back curious hands from squishing Sea Cucumbers has produced an unlikely manifestation. Red, thorny and bursting with sparkling prose, ilvs makes the third trimester a stylish examination of expectant personhood and of our ultimate connections.
Linda Austen is damn tired of the myth that age is a curse. She's living the life and playing hard with absurdist, perceptive bubble bursting. Origins of classic Dada sweated through the hot flash of menopause. Overtly silly and deadly serious. Don't fuck with the fan! I'm just sayin'.
Anna Conner + Co. affect enigmatic, athletic hieroglyphics to paint a mysterious maze of flirtatious and dangerous movement.
When Sarah Rudinoff wakes up and plops her vagina in the toaster, wobbles through a daunting meditation practice and then projects her infinite "selfie", I'm...