Since Thursday, I have officially seen work by 18 discrete artists, companies, or collaborators, and it’s not even over yet. Here’s a preemptive recap.
Best art-imitates-life moment: Jack Ferver’s mock q&a, when he referred to the “American Producers’ Association of… Producers.”
Most excellent use of multimedia: Live music. Unfortunately, this reflects that I see too much canned-music dance and not enough fully integrated multimedia work, but how often do any of us get to see a real collaboration between choreographer and composer? Dancemaker Morgan Thorson and Brooklyn band LOW’s Heaven, in an encore presentation at PS122, so equally and seamlessly integrated the two arts that it almost felt like a new genre. On the other hand, the work in progress presented by dancers Nora Chipaumire and Souleymane Badolo with master drummer Obo Addy reminded me that music and dance should be produced simultaneously, in conversation with each other. It’s timeless. If only it could happen more often.
Most embarrassing diplomacy failure: The denial of WCdance performance visas. In a program announcement for the Japan Society’s Contemporary Dance Showcase, Artistic Director Yoko Shioya explained that the Taiwanese dancers were not granted visas because Immigration does not consider them “skilled in performing a culturally unique art form which is unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons,” nor did the performers qualify as “internationally recognized artists.” This is the first time in the 13-year history of the Showcase that this has occurred. From Shioya’s announcement:
The whole process was an unfortunate development. It is difficult to document traces of cultural origin in contemporary dance, although they certainly exist. As for the criteria of “international recognition,” it is precisely the aim of our Contemporary Dance Showcase to expose emerging East Asian dance companies to international audiences, some for the first time. I hope that the rejection of the company’s visa does not portend a pattern of shutting doors to emerging artists from abroad.
Most fun way to process the dizzying array of performances: Enter Urgent Artist’s APAP Challenge! Submit your one-sentence reviews to the Urgent Artist blog, then wait for the glories of champion-hood to find you.
I am now utterly exhausted with lists and recaps. A more in-depth post on the Japan Society event is in the works, but in the meantime, what have you been seeing?