Here are the performances I attended these days.
27/05/2010 From Morning, A day of dance curated by Florence Peake, Christ Church Spitalfields
I generally like a performance in non-theatre space, and improvisation. So this event seemed right for me. There were four pieces, each of which we watch and experience from different views; one facing the entrance of the nave, one facing the altar, one in the crypt and one from the upper gallery. If I can ask more, I wanted to see the piece adapted more responding the architecture and the space they have chosen to perform. Maybe I say that because I have seen Nikki's piece before in another venue, and I thought that space was more effective for this work. The church is obviously not build for a dance performance and there were lots of moments that I struggle to watch the performance beyond other people's heads or pillars. But once if I accept the fact that what I can see is what it is, I can let it go with the missing parts. Anyway I would not get EVERYTHING from the event. What I experience is the event... I fall into the thoughts on performance I have been playing with these days.
18/05/2010 Babel (words), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Damien Jalet & Antony Gormley, Sadler's Wells
People make so much fuss about Sidi Larbi, and I have seen many works by him. To be honest, many pieces have faded out from my memory and the only one I remember is Sutra, the last piece hi made. On the other hand, I remember every work that Antony Gormley did in dance, with Sidi Larbi and Akram Kahn. I really enjoy such simple objects he makes create different spaces and meanings in relation to its uses in performance. The objects really get life.
In Babel (words), I saw this again, as well as other aspects in dance, physicality and humanity. The new thing in this work from Sidi Larbi is that there are more sense of humor. I have heard from other people that they did not like it because they are just kitsch and not funny. I don't disagree with them but I still like the stupidity because I think it is also part of human. A dance performance in a big venue like Sadler's Wells do not need to pretend 'high-art'. A real moment of creativity inhabits in people's playfulness, and it is OK to bring it on the stage, I think.
Including these stupid moments, the work had so much in it; great physicality of performers, abstract beauty of movement created by dance and the objects, social message and historical references. I enjoyed it every single moment.
16/05/2010 Would Like to Meet, non zero one, Barbican
It seems that it is becoming popular to provide a MP3 player and a headset to an audience member, who tours in a building following the direction given by the recorded voice. As far as I remember, this is the third time for me to have a headset to take a part in a performance, and this is the most well culcurated and completed one. There were probably two performers from the company who performs different roles in different time for different members of the viewers of six. So it is not about 'watching a performance'. It is about commiting yourself in the performance and interact with other audience members as the recorded voice pushes you to do so. There are some more activities you are told to do. In those moments, I felt the existace of myself feeling powerless as I have no other choices than folloing the instraction and trying to relax and enjoy myself doing the activity. It was very unique state of mind to be, and very powerful experience at the same time. I am very much interested in a performance in this kind of form, which the audience members really participate and create a performance for themselves in their own way.