Journal

Fucking, trouble, hysteria, vomit, and a bit of chaos - God, I LOVE On the Boards! Jun 17, 2012

by Laura

 

I took in both the Studio and Mainstage show in one evening.  I know…greedy, right?

 

STUDIO

Erin Pike is out of a box in a race to erase, as the minutes methodically click on.  Pikes determination to complete absence through cleaning moves me from calm to anxious in only 13 minutes.  There's panic in those lines, and then blue barf. 

 

This is what my body can do, and this is what else my body does.  From the hairy diapers to the dildo lipstick, Maureen Whiting says that smell and functionality is conveniently packaged in flesh, not as contraband, but as a juicy talent.  Whiting exposed a vulnerability that felt like a prehistoric girls date and all the baggage attached to fucking and love was reduced to its most simple equation.  Ezra, beautiful Ezra, together with Whiting, were in each others guts pulling them from the inside out. They worked hard, cajoled, and manipulated, and when Whitings inverted breathing belly gasped for air - I knew she knew that I knew.  Maureen Whiting - damn!

 

Three girls from Portland Oregon, Amber Whitehall, Rebecca Tobin and Paige McKinney all in white, slightly stained dresses are talking dodo and death.  Synchronized within an inch of its life, the Song of Dodo is hilarious and clever.  I'm invited to confess, and to witness a form of cannibalism chased with a red.  Their violent song forces me to imagine faces scrunched up and mouths twisted, until the last desperate and stumbling confession is spit out.

 

There is something so satisfying in watching Scofield in close proximity.  A raise of her brow which creases her forehead, and being close enough to viscerally feel this new energy travel out her pinky finger.  Watching the spiral of intention move from her upper right small intestine to glide outward from her slightly sickled left foot.  Her eyeballs alone tell me that there is a whole lot of "whatevers" going on.   Scofield moves from the most minute gesture that could write a novel into the embodiment of a passive prop.  In all this, I wanted to get next to Raja Feather Kelly, to investigate his dimensions.  I am so grateful for Scofield's future, that - for my sake - she is going to be making work for a long time, and I will have the opportunity to experience.

 

 

MAINSTAGE

 

Richard Lefebvre created a monster, and beat the shit out of it.  The spoken and yelled taunts by Lefebvre and Erika Mayfield are supported with thunder bolts from Erin Jorgensen, Mike Henderson and David Bucci.  The vocal challenges are embodied through video, and I craved to be closer, to feel the claustrophobia this performance would make in a compressed space.

 

The chaos that is Vanessa DeWolf's Unrehearsed Ensemble had me searching for the score.  Unlike any other artist, DeWolf dares to expose a colossal experiment where everyones voice and intention are equally relevant and autonomous.  I looked for the thread of what I thought might be happening.  Dancer Paige Barns gave me an anchor in all of it, but she too was absorbed into the canvas of paper, minutia and black light paint, so I stopped trying and tried to watch all and nothing at the same time.  Like Lefebvre before, I wanted to be inside the work, not removed from it.  I wanted to be penetrated with DeWolfs earnest experiment.

 

The seductive first sound of Cacophony for 8 Players flew around the house like spirits.  A loud boom interrupts my new relationship, and I slowly begin to situate where the moving trumpet song and low thunder is coming from.  Others in front of me turn to watch, but I don't dare disturb these precious moments.  The power that is Baldoz as she travels into my sight line oozes from her limbs and torso as she bends and moves her trumpet like a lover.  I could watch her all night.  On stage Baldoz is surrounded by instruments and electronics.  Three dancers, Beth Graczyk, Allie Hankins and Peggy Piacenza move with and around sculptures that suggest figures and space.  Torben Ulrich makes a musical sorcery that floats over the stage.  Piacenza in her green fluid dress is a master at subtlety, she teases the entire place with just a tiny shift in the hip or a flick of the tongue, and moves on.  She looks at everyone at once, and I feel like she's looking only at me.  Graczyk maintains a muscular consistency juxtaposed against Hankins dynamics.  

 

At intermission a mom sitting behind me next to her 9 year old (?) son, discussed with another audience member the pros and cons of remaining for act two.  After the mom was told by the "friend" audience member that Waxie Moon's performance was risqué, the mom thought it best to leave.  Too bad.  Waxie Moon told the story of complete and utter freedom in the most articulate languages.  Every 9 year old should witness the beauty, artistry, passion, humor and honesty that this performance is.  Cliche was properly read, and Lou Henry kicked my ass.  Men picking up after, and…puppet - what??  Holy shit - can we arrange field trips?        

 

 

 

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