“Art asks questions; architecture answers questions. Art is uncomfortable; architecture is comfortable.” – Rasmus Waern & Gert Wingårdh
I read these words a few hours before viewing Another 37 Reasons to Cry on October 2, 2015. What follows are some thoughts I had during and after viewing this performance. They are not intended to be a review in any way; they are more of an impression, perhaps approaching feedback.
Ralph Lemon was looking for the perfect gesture. I think the perfect gesture is that which is becoming something. When Amy fell first in part II, a kind of messy lean back with a front attitude, and Raja caught her, it felt like that almost that makes the perfect gesture. It was almost falling almost sweet almost something almost everything, clasped tightly. I think Raja and his cast found the perfect gesture to answer some question, but I don’t know what the question was yet.
The end of the piece confused me, caught me by surprise, and felt like I was coming out of a trance. Either because I was sleepy, or because this was the desired effect.
Wanting to suck on something – to put one’s mouth on something – to clasp tightly, with both hands
Uncertain contract – For me, there was an uncertain contract between the performers and the audience. At first, because audience members were cajoled onstage to hold tubes that later emitted a large bang and a lot of silver confetti (that interacted stunningly with the lighting for the duration of the piece), I told myself to expect some kind of interaction. And because the narrative material in the program was so charged, I expected that we as audience members would be held accountable or active in some way. This expectation was never filled, and I felt very comfortable watching the anger, violence, and vulnerability portrayed onstage. And so I felt safe, and really, not that discomfited. Rather than a challenge to act, the piece read more like a repeat or a replay of recent history or of the noise of everyday life. And I felt like it had no resolution. Not that the present moment or recent current events have a resolution either. But in general I expect some kind of resolution from art. Overall, I suppose, my expectations were not met.
It felt like something I could “read.” I was aware that I was someone who regularly watches dance while I was watching it.
And it feels now, a few days later, as if the program handed to us was for shock value, while the piece itself was so devoid of that. Or maybe it just feels like I’m confused about why the program was the way it was.
It felt like a collective of individuals, together, in disarray.
Click here for more information about the piece on which I’ve been ruminating.
almost caught falling uncertainly clasped tightly together