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(un)Usual Beauty Jan 29, 2014

Swirling forward, the performers push their bodies toward the audience with the momentum of a wind storm. What I see: Assertion. Aggression. Androgyny. The women that rule the atmosphere.

I see women in heels, their bodies impressively ripped, their fluidity rippling across their skin like water. Normal interactions re-cast as strange.
And once I’ve seen the cast half-naked, shifting through states of undress, my mind wanders back to the movement itself. Free to experience the sound, the light, of a body without wondering what is hidden.

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"A visceral experience unlike any other" Jan 28, 2014

"Gravel combined challenging contemporary dance, new music reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie and other twee indie artists, rock and roll music, classical music, silence, rock show lighting, champagne, formal wear, and personal addresses to the audience that made for a visceral experience unlike any other I’d had in a long time."

Read a review of Usually Beauty Fails at the Catherine Blake Smith blog.

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It's fucking excruciating (this, not the show) Jan 27, 2014

Eric: After watching Frédérick Gravel's Usually Beauty Fails, I remember saying that I enjoyed the performance, but I also jokingly quipped, "don't I like them all?". My tablemates disagreed: I was quickly reminded that I don't like them all. Tessa mentioned later, "I would pay to see the show again, right now, if it was playing again this instant.” I don't know if I would want to see it twice in one night, but I would definitely see it again on Sunday. Especially if anyone has an extra ticket and needs a date. 

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The Awkward Morning After… Jan 27, 2014

The context of personal memory, experience, and where you are currently at in your development as a human has everything to with how you view and digest art. For most of you ready, I am sure that is a given, but just in case… During this piece, I just couldn't seem to get out of my head when the piece really wanted me to get into my body.  I mean there is rock music and nudity for Christ's sake.  I can see why OTB asked me to blog about this show.  Aspects of this piece were like looking into the mirror at my artist self in my 20's.  The piece had a very promising beginning.

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Beauty, Dance, Democracy: Interview with Frédérick Gravel Jan 26, 2014

Interview excerpt with choreographer Frédérick Gravel and OtB Communications Director Erin Jorgensen

Listen to the interview.

EJ: You wrote a thesis in school about the role of a dancer in democratic society - and I'm super curious, being American...I  don't even know what that means.

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i was lost in the beauty Jan 24, 2014

The piece was a minimalist in its expression of emotions floating in the ampleness of physicality. In some way I felt it was an idealized world of perfect young bodies, yet it never lost its openness to emotional vulnerabilities – like a delicate bubble of dreams, one second everyone was beautiful, healthy, and wild, and the next second nothing felt much real and the party became emptiness walking in high heels. 

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Body Party. Jan 24, 2014

Recently, I watched the 1992 classic Far and Away, and I was shocked to discover that after 2.5 hours of observing a romance unfold between the young, shiny-toothed Tom Cruise and an immaculate Nicole Kidman, they never actually get naked or engage in any kind of sex.  The end result is a kind of frustration (resolved by Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut) that leaves the viewer feeling very lost and de-centered as a person.

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Thoughts on Frédérick Gravel’s Usually Beauty Fails Jan 24, 2014

Generally I get overly excited to see shows, however, I have been finding recently that my excitement sets me up for some sort of disappointment so yesterday as I was walking into OtB I tried to completely enter as a blank slate, which was hard to do yesterday as I was completely exhausted and a bit bummed that I was flying solo to the show, but regardless I tried really hard….so just to give you some context.  

Here are my thoughts after sleeping on the show:

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A Ready Grace Jan 24, 2014

I remember thinking when I was a teenager how great it would be to be able to walk like Fred Astaire. Not to dance like him; that was a style that was sufficiently unique and set in a point in time as to be obviously pointless to duplicate.

But to be able to walk like the man, to have that ready grace, that supreme confidence, that relaxed power in everyday movement, that would be something—at least for an awkward adolescent.

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