Friday, September 18, 2009

The original ending to my review of Headlong's "more."

To read the full article as edited and published by the Broad Street Review, click here.

Then come back and see the final two paragraphs, as I submitted them (and which got cut, leading to unnecessary claims that I lack knowledge of dance history).

And FYI: I don’t write the headlines or subject headings for the pieces that appear in the BSR.

A question for my cleaning lady:

"And while I don’t believe for a minute they showed what remains of dance when bodies disappear, I think the work continues to ask important questions about the boundaries of dance’s movement vocabulary. Is rearranging your own furniture art (and not merely when it’s feng shui)? The next time my maid comes over to clean, do I owe Headlong royalties? Can any movement function in a choreographer’s arsenal?

Choreographers long ago answered the latter question affirmatively. But in making an entire work out of a continual reframing and re-asking of the question, Headlong instead set up an insignificant tautology, proving only that any time dancers (or anyone) engage in movement, they’re engaging in movement. As a company, they may have needed to take an artistic leap in a piece like more. But to argue that any and all of the movement they present constitutes art in some definitional sense when disconnected from bodies, from context, and from meaning does not extend the boundaries of dance but reduces them to meaninglessness."

In other words, embrace the freedom to use whatever movement you want but integrate it into a piece, rather than fashion the act of questioning into some meta-level approach to your work.

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