Stuff in a Row Nov 21, 2014

by Dylan Ward

I guess I should start this blog post by saying that I had to look up the word egalitarian to make sure I was using it correctly when talking about this weekend's show.

I was, I think; according to Google the meaning is:

"of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities."

(yes, I am starting a blog post with a word definition like an asshole)

But the thing is: I have this immediate sort of teenage response to "egalitarian art", as though a teenager is whining "I knowwwww, I know we are all equal I know I get it I knowwww."

This is a product of being raised by liberal minister parents with concerns towards social justice and also with anxiety disorders, who only wished for me to know myself as equal among all races and genders and non-genders and gay straight bi a sexual peoples. Quite honestly I believe that of course all are "created" equal, but the sentiment of frustration arises more from an overload of this message. 

So was my initial, secret reaction to Bleed, because I am a bad person. 

It was:

"Oh my god, I get it everyones a dancer I get it oh my goddd ugghh...."

Four years ago I would have stayed with this sentiment throughout the show, and TaRASHED it with my friends. I then had very different opinions than I do now about myself, people and about dancing. I would have considered it an expression of the upper class imposing a vision of equinimity to satiate the lower classes' thirst and quell revolution. 

(For do not all of us change out our opinions like outdated RAM cards? I also believed the government was behind 9/11. I no longer believe this.I still believe in false conciousness and misplaced values, but that is an entirely different tangent.)

However, my recent experience with dance, and specifically, in watching it, has given me, of course, a different perspective.

Poetically: I sawform appear and disappear, discovered not through the classic form, however, but rather like a bud, a flower reflects physics with variation and not the other way around. 

In real words: It was real people moving real movements who had practiced them in order so that they might elate and provoke. They had sequenced them in order to provoke...something.

I attended Tere's workshop at Velocity; it was a long conversation about how things in a line form a structure, because that is how the brain works. The artist then, can see what structure things have and then make it into different things with different structures. Like cooking, but even with more possibilities since things dont have to be edible or pallatable or even have to be anything.

Viewing the show like this; I began to interest myself in what each movement "did," its effect, its "taste" to me. And then there were moments in which I was utterly shut down by the beauty of it all, of feathered unison on different bodies, on focus and clarity of line and vision, and on the way all things worked together. 

Were I not to have this perspective, that of the workshop and my recent experience, to view this show, who knows if I would have "sensed the beauty of it?" My guess is that it wouldn't matter to Tere one way or the other; he had laid things out in a row on people he liked to make something he found interesting (or not, or whatever) and that was what was happening. 

And so, the only thing to take away, maybe from any performance, in fact, is that things that happen in a row and next to each other are interesting if you pay attention. You are also part of this, what happens to you may also make things interesting.