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Re: “Calling all critical first responders: Marin, Teker, Radin

Umwelt's length was an absolutely necessary function of the meaning of the dance. Aside from the fact that leaving in the middle of it is not only rude to the dancers and rude to the people around you, but it also reveals a lack of understanding about the piece. The piece is about the universal quotidian experience, the things that make life beautiful, the things that make life hard, the things that make it painful, the things that make it boring, and the things that make it interesting. How does each of us fill the time we have every day? What importance to we attach to meaningless objects in order to entertain or distract ourselves? The length is the challenge: can we occupy ourself with this for an hour? We watch the dancers reflect our impatience, one moment they eat an apple, the next they eat a chicken leg, the next they try on a wedding dress, or a blue hat, or a green jacket. Every now and then, a dancer pauses and the lights come on, but the fan keeps blowing and the mirrors keep shaking. To me those moments signified the dancer's realization that life is passing him/her by. By getting so caught up in the daily hubbub, it's possible to forget. It reminded me of Ferris Bueller's simple thesis "Life moves pretty fast. It you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it." Where are you rushing to, those of you who left early? Can you let the range of emotions (boredom or frustration included, perhaps even necessary) wash over you, but stay committed to the moment, as the dancers did, or as Ferris would have you do? It's the emotion that comes after the boredom passes that makes the Umwelt worth watching. As for those who complain about the $35 dollar ticket fee... I would suggest doing a bit of research before your next performance. ADF has more shows than ever this summer, and there's a lot to choose from. A little bit of research into Maguy Marin would yield that she loves to do repetitive, often minimalist, and oh-so-French lethargic dances. If that doesn't sound like your bag (and each of us has different tastes, all valid), then hold out for something with a bit more narrative, like Martha Graham. I hope we can all move past the "what is dance"? question. It's a pretty worn territory. Dance is different for everyone.

Posted by Robin on 06/27/2008 at 5:17 PM

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