Monday, March 30, 2009

Forsythe's Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced

Still from annotated video illustrating the complex system of cueing in One Flat Thing, reproduced
Credit: Synchronous Objects Project, The Ohio State University and The Forsythe Company

Back in January, I was looking at William Forsythe's videos from his CD-Rom Improvisation Technologies and wondering what we could do now that computer and film technologies have progressed so much. Well it turns out Forsythe was on it too: his latest project, called Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing, reproduced, is a collaboration with the Univeristy of Ohio and launches on the 1st of April.

From the press release:

'Focusing on Forsythe’s complex ensemble dance One Flat Thing, reproduced, the project presents an original collection of screen-based visualizations (video, digital artwork, animation, and interactive graphics) that reveal interlocking systems of organization in the choreography. The project aims to appeal to a broad public from diverse fields including but not limited to dance (...)
This research is a process in which choreographic ideas are the source of information for the composition of unique visual objects. These objects enable the ideas in the choreography to be quickly grasped in their entirety and suggest new interpretations.'

The teaser video and images look stunning, I am really looking forward to seeing more.

Full press release and images from the Synchronous Objects website. There is also an essay by Forsythe. To be honest he kind of lost me after about the fourth paragraph but I kept reading and it started making sense. Choreography can now exist outside of performance, outside of the body, and this project gives choreographic thinking a new outlet for expression (I guess?!)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dance and disability

A video from the New York Times about Gimp, a New York City dance company that includes disabled dancers.

A good opportunity to shout out to Candoco Dance Company, very well known in the UK for their fantastic work integrating 'disabled and non-disabled dancers' as they say. It has been running since 2001.

Are we overdosing on Swan Lake?

Asks the Times, in a very interesting piece where Debra Caines asks top companies what's going on and why there are so many Swan Lakes being performed in London this year.

"Any national company has to have a Swan Lake because it is the very definition of classical ballet. It is the standard of measure and you have to keep it alive" says Kevin McKenzie, AD of American Ballet Theatre, who is performing Swan Lake in London this week. But "my heart sank when I realised that we and the Royal were performing Swan Lake at the same time,” McKenzie says. “If we had known, we would have looked to do a different repertoire. If the economy weren’t so bad, people might come to see both, but who is going to do that now?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I too want a giant tambourine to dance on

Carmen Amaya, probably the best flamenco dancer of the 20th century.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Miyako Ishiuchi

1906 17
Credit: Miyako Ishiuchi

Photographs by Japanse photographer Miyako Ishiuchi are currently on display at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, until 16 April. From their website:

'In ‘1906 to the skin’, Ishiuchi creates portrait of Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, who was born in 1906. For this unusual exploration of a man, Ishiuchi turns her attention to human skin –studying Ohno’s scars and the effects of aging on his body, the patina of which convey a person’s history. No shot captures his face or personality; instead the series is an intimate study of the strength and vulnerability of a man through close up images of his skin. The results are celebratory and full of warmth. Ishiuchi says: “His skin is unusually beautiful. It is smoother than silk, warmer than wool, suppler than cotton, stronger than canvas.”'

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Los Abrazos Rotos - trailer

It's not dance-related, but Almodovar is my favourite film director, and the man managed to include some Pina Bausch into one of his films - the guy has balls!

Almodovar's new film, Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces) comes out next week in Spain. In the UK later this year I'd imagine.

Plus below a genius short inspired by characters from the film - hilarious!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Eonnagata reviews

The Times - 3 stars 'Gorgeous in many ways, especially visually, yet dull in others, Eonnagata feels like a work that hasn't yet found its focus.'

The Evening Standard
- 2 stars 'Eonnagata works as a reverse synergy, with the baffling sum less than its intriguing parts.'

The Financial Times - 'Eonnagata does not ultimately hang together and falls far short of a coherent show.'

The Independent - 'It can be beautiful, but it is a static experience.'

The Daily Telegraph - 'While never less than interesting, it is as if the admiration that each of the trio has for the others has blunted the clarity of their individual visions. The effect is attractive but blurred, an evening that is both too full of ideas and too short of the means to develop them.'

The Observer - 'You leave gorged with artifice - the lighting, the couture, Guillem's still-fabulous développé devant - but wondering what, if anything, lies behind it all.'