Responses to NW New Works Week 1

In lieu of reviews or four lenses write-ups for NWNW, which honestly I had a lot of trouble attempting to write, I decided to go with a simpler device put to use in writing sessions we had in Alice Gosti’s Say Yes IMP class: Poetic, stream of consciousness rambling. I found this a much clearer way to articulate what I felt or saw.

Claire Thomforde-Garner – “The Wrestling Match”: Wrestlers meander onto the mat, then meander through a faux match morphed into a dance. The clothes come off. The man has a dance belt and is covered in tape. The lady is in her underwear and is covered in tape. Her scowl never disappears. Their awkward contact dancing becomes her sequence and his perpetual roll around her. They finally engage the tape and peel from each other. There was a deeper message and we never got it.

AJA – “slugs do it real slow and pretty”: Jumping on a mattress like kids. Run away, and then loud confrontational music and titles. Slugs and giant but barely readable text. Sext. Man and woman in the back very slowly disrobe. Kissing him slowly, at life speed. Collision! They are going to hurt each other! Did they? Stop to floss. Let’s all floss as a group. A string. But now we will brush teeth all in a row. Your toothbrush is my toothbrush. Your nastiness is my nastiness. And now we mouthwash with cheap mouthwash. We all get our own mouthwash however. And a community spit bucket. That shit is nasty. Get it out of here. Here kiss me. Now kiss me. Now kiss me. But not me. I already made out with your neck. The guys illustrate the finer points of furiously jerking off. Our climax is the ladies heads popping variety show style from the backdrop. Write your own conclusion.

Pony World Theatre – “A Compelling, Unknown Force”: Chekhovian dialogue gives us a wall to look over or around. Close your eyes. Every time you open them a tableau. We show a picture and then tell a story. This is a multi-person recount of a story compared to raw drama. These are servants to a story rather than characters. Paper realities. We are reading a book, except the book is showing us AND telling us the story. An incomplete story.

PE | Mo – “RIGGED”: Run! High school gym class! Frenetic looks! And now a loser! Go away! Dance! Shapoopie! Take that to the bank! A winner is you! But none of you get anything! Except apples! Sulking! Defeat! And Pol! This is delicious! Watch me eat and drink, bitches. Now RUN. DANCE. YOU’RE NOT DANCING FAST ENOUGH. SHOW ME YOUR APPLES. THESE ARE NOT ENOUGH APPLES. GO CLEAN LANE CZAPLINSKI’S OFFICE WITH THE OTHER LOSERS. Sing me a song. Dance! The dance of losing! Only four remain! Who will survive and win nothing? Tune in next time!

Elia Mrak – “los samurai”: Someone’s bookshelf has splashed across the stage. Five Zambranos play lumberjack. Relentless pursuit. A game with each other, or an attempt to break each other? Or both? Splash into music. Rage Against the Machine predates this all. The lumberjack winner is Elia, on account of it is his damn piece and he makes the rules. The losers must mop up the literary mess. He will monitor the cleanup and ensure compliance with his stage cleanup needs. He, Viko and Pili fill the silence with Zambranic communication. Their dance is a conversation. We lack understanding. The chaplain speaks, his eulogy riveted onto the end of this piece, and they shut up. And that is all you will get from them.

Allie Hankins – “Misshapen Pearl”: Marionettes in formation. A rigid archetypal dance. Break aways to perform an identical sequence and show respective costume flaws. Allie breaks away and twitches into a convulsive solo in dim side light. The dance turns as dark as the light and we pink elephant through an eerie sequence composing the long, distended end to this piece.

Maxie Jamal and the Mystiquesterium – “One Plus”: A diorama of slavery from the perspective of ancestors of the enslaved. Colorful interludes caricature history. The dance steps high and leaps forth in perpetuity. The energy never dissipates even as the dancers stamina does. The singers struggle to reach the back row, but the dance can be visually heard down the block. Those of us in the front rows are fortunate. The slave trader’s voice is a loud, noxious fart in church. The slide show makes me think we’re in school.

Josh Martin – “Leftovers”: Stop motion individual. I see no story but I see an amazing effect brought to life. Diagonal light pierces the stage darkness. The middle dance never finds its form until it returns to the stop motion magic that captured attention. Still, Josh Martin has opened a door and no one’s going to shut it again.

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