Thursday, September 22, 2011


My friend Elle Loui, who helped me re-integrate into society after a magical ongoing trance party of my own just helped induce one in some others with her party art show at rice and beans :

If Elle Loui August and Matthew George Richard Ward's WONDERING HOW WE EVER CAME TO THIS THANK YOU, FOR INSTANCE. OR POSSIBLE OR JUST WHATEVER WHATEVER WHATEVER!!!! (rice and beans) was something a reviewer could reliably call theatre or dance, and expect to be understood, then the world would be a somewhat different place. If I say to you that I experienced this as a type of post object art - whose scattering of bodies across the blank slate of Rice and Beans seemed to deny literal scrutiny and require of the visitor other means of perception, integration into the work - then you might be well served in terms of perceiving an absence of commodity, but completely mislead in other ways, for this was no dry intellectual exercise. What type of person has the temerity to dissect and codify when it is live bodies at stake? A theatre reviewer? Speaking recently with the director of the just-finished Avenue Q, we reached an typical impasse with his assertion that "physical theatre" was a redundant term - all theatre being intrinsically physical. Which, abstractly, is completely true, but in practice is completely not. Much, if not practically all of what we call theatre is involved in encasing non-literal, animistic, flesh-based communication in a great sheet of words. "Wondering....." , on the other hand, felt a bit like wandering down to a great rivers edge to watch an ancient species at play - but that is only if you chose to see it as spectacle at all. It felt more like a rite intended to awaken atavistic pathways in the brain. When I left - after about an hour- I literally could not speak. The world seemed enormously present, and language seemed too..... easy a strategy; too coarse. I offer no guesses at method or intention on the part of the performers, and in terms of what i "literally" witnessed - two people denying (passively, it seemed) eye contact or interaction, and moving in the space -any description beyond the most basic would mislead. Entertaining, informing, transporting an audience are all splendid goals for theatre - but literally putting them in a trance is, in our modern context, something of a paradigm shift. Some say it was not always so. Certainly it has not deserted us for good.

Jimmy Currin

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