Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What We Do

posted by Tara O'Con

Photo by Miguel Lopez, courtesy of Arts World Financial Center

After my experience of Undercurrents and Exchange this year, I have deduced the following about we do:

We maintain a steadfast connection to the theatrical conventions we create, while remaining open to the vast possibilities and unknowns that come with site-specific performance

We portray absurd characters that allow us to be most like ourselves.

We can blend into any environment while standing out like a sore thumb.

Brilliant! It is so much fun!

There is an ease with which most of the audience and passers by in the Winter Garden can approach our performances and take us for exactly what we are; performers. I am struck by the huge difference between blending with everyday denizens of the space as we did last year, and this year’s extremely clear boundary of period costumes, antique props, and loud music. It seems that the clarity of said boundaries actually opened up a ton of exciting interaction (note the lovely guerilla ensemble member who quite beautifully and accurately, joined our dance and followed along with almost 10 minutes of choreography) Definitely my new favorite fourth wall demolition to date.

We spend a lot of time as artists questioning boundaries- pushing them, rearranging them, and breaking them altogether. How often in this nebulous hybrid of dance, theater, and performance art do we get to play inside boundaries that already exist? Not much. It is actually quite refreshing.

That’s on the outside.

Inside, there are a whole slew of boundaries that are being blurred, which ideally happen all of the time, but in this case, I feel are heightened by the idiosyncrasies of “characters” we play. Quite simply, those idiosyncrasies are the same. For example, if Tom, Jeninne, Marissa, and myself were to all set out to accomplish the same task, while hurrying to finish it, the carryings on, and joking familial-like interactions would not look dissimilar to our fictional group of traveling vaudevillian performers doing the same thing (see video day # 2 and #6). Just in a more theatrical representation- well, in most cases it is.


Read Taraa's previous posts from the last U&E series in 2009:
"On Being Caught in a Daily Routine - A City Within a City"

"Full-Time Artist, Full-Time Job"

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