Refinement on the Bleeding Edge Oct 8, 2010

by Shango

If you are reading this blog entry, you are most likely engaged enough with the dance scene in Seattle that you read some of the deluge of articles about Christian Rizzo both as an enigma as well as the giddy and heartfelt reviews of his recent performances in NYC.  Last night while I was deeply enjoying his opening night performance at On the Boards, I wondered “What could I possibly say that has not been said already in all the glowing press.”  You have most likely heard all about his rockstar nature, his dream career, his muse and dancer Julie Guibert and the fact that this performance, as with his last one in 2006, is some of the best of the contemporary dance world.

And this is what I can say.

Christian Rizzo expanded my mind to how good dance can be.  Like with wine, there are many good ones, but when you have an exceptional wine, our response is, “Well, this has reset some of my standards and what I thought was possible. “  It was inspiring and heartening and educative and just entertaining to experience a performance when each intricate part was done masterfully.  It was an entirety…and it was mature…and it was sophisticated.

I have had the discussion many times with dancers about where the line is between movement and dance and if there is even any difference.  This performance blurs that line even more.  From someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience watching dance, I could not dismiss their comment that, “well, she isn’t dancing at all, just moving.”

In light of that comment though, Julie Guibert is fully engaging and masterful and has insane body control and more core strength than I have ever seen and I don’t think it takes away from the performance at all to suggest it could also be described as endurance yoga.  Truly, her movement was beautiful on many levels and it was also new and risky in that it is not what many would consider dance.  I would definitely consider it dance but it surely was on the bleeding edge.

I’m not going to be able to get around describing the show as slow, however, I was riveted and on the edge of my seat the whole time.  It was slow the same way you experience a passionate kiss with someone you trust emotionally.  The time expands and all of our senses are on fire and, yes, it is slow but our minds are also exploding.  This was my experience.  It was slow but in all of the best, thoughtful and visceral ways.

I won’t give you a synopsis of the show because experiencing the pace and inventive theatrics of the show is a big part of its sweetness. However I will say…

I would like to be reincarnated as Julie Guibert’s skyscraper stilettos, and…

the Bunny Man did not disappoint.

-Shango Los