by Natasha Marin
SHORE: A Curated Reading
Catalyst Artistic Director: Emily Johnson
Emily begins with gratitude to the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, and Hugo House for co-creating the event with her. Then she mentions how nice it is to be back in Seattle after 10 years away and introduces the first reader.
Next up—the pure antithesis of apology—Quenton Baker, begins in the space that the black body occupies in this country. His poem, Dialectic, opens with a quote by Aime Cesaire and spirals out into a Banyan tree of sonic branches knotted with leafy lines like:
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by Tracy Rector
My relationship to rage is long and varied from childhood to this very moment as I write. The first feelings of palpable anger occurred when my parents drunkenly argued in the kitchen, or when strange men would peer through my bedroom window at night while I hid under my stuffed animals crying, or when my young cousins shared stories of incest and abuse or the self-hatred that developed after having been myself molested at age 10.
Rage increased and became deeply internalized as I learned how to walk on eggshells or be quiet during a whipping, as I learned to eat mass amounts of food only to throw it up, or when I began to understand that my worth in the eyes of many men was purely based on prettiness or an ability to be accommodating. What all of these experiences have in common are the shutting down and suppressing of true feelings and pain.
Yes, I learned how to shelve anger but my body memory could not ignore these potent emotions. Pat Graney’s work is more than...
Marcie Sillman talks about Girl Gods at "And Another Thing", her culture blog:
Over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time navigating the rich pathways of Pat Graney’s mind.
It’s always an amazing journey.
Graney has been making dances in Seattle for more than two decades. Love them or hate them, they are always fascinating.
I happen to love her work, even when it’s not quite finished.
That’s the case with Graney's latest ambitious project, “Girl Gods,” which premiered October 1-4 at On the Boards in Seattle.
"Girl Gods" is billed as an exploration of women’s rage. Graney explained in a post-show talk-back that she initially planned to begin the piece with a tantrum. She decided that was too literal.
Instead, Sara Jinks walks agonizingly slowly across the stage, carefully placing each foot precisely in front of the other. With...
by Amontaine Aurore
Pat Graney’s new work makes no apologies. It is a bold and explosive treatise on the seething underbelly of female anger. That anger is born of many things, not the least of which are the explicit as well as insidious messages that expressing it would be unattractive. It is derived by stuffing ourselves into the too-small cultural boxes aimed at keeping us cute, sexy, small, and silent. It is maintained through trying on and wearing the accoutrements that have come to define femininity, yet have served to own and encapsulate it, leaving us at the mercy of a soul crushing dilemma.
Through a series of vignettes that grow progressively darker, five female dancers, a child, an older woman and a doll, take us through cycles of female disempowerment; from cutesy baby doll poses and sex-fueled smiles that hide and confuse patterns of abuse, to hidden and grotesque food rituals, to screams that are at last released in all their horrific glory, to limbs and high heels that writhe and...
The Seattle Times reviews Girl Gods:
"...The interplay between the performers and Holly Batt’s marvelous interactive wall structure is one of the more inventive and captivating elements. From its nooks and crannies, and from behind removable bricks, the ensemble of five women retrieve an assortment of archetypal objects.
They pull out boxes holding designer Frances Kenny’s symbolic outfits, and frequently change in and out of them. There are frilly, girly party frocks for a line dance of little Shirley Temples striking fake-cute poses. There are casual togs several sizes too small, which a dancer humorously, embarrassingly, squeezes her body into as if to deny adult womanhood. There’s a low-cut red cocktail dress for another kind of posing.
One of the sharpest sequences comments on the persistent social imperative to...
by James Holt
I don’t pretend to know anything about modern dance or contemporary theater. I rarely know the artists or what I’m getting myself into when I walk into the mainstage at On the Boards. But, honestly, that’s kinda what I love about it—walking in as a blank slate, no expectations except to be confronted with something that I’ll probably need to grapple with until the next show.
That’s what happened last night with Pat Graney and Girl Gods. As often is the case at OtB, you walk-in and see a pre-performance stage set which is simple, clean, elegant and minimalist only to be taken through scene after scene of emotionally charged, and often physically chaotic, vignettes that alter that simple metaphorical elegance into the literal mess that has unfolded around it.
I’m not ready to discuss the “unsettling journey into the collective feminine unconscious” except to say that...