The morning after our adventure in the Lower East Side, I woke up late. Dinner ran to the late side after the five of us left eventually found a restaurant to dine at, where we burned through a couple bottles of wine before I set out back to Brooklyn with Zoe, who was staying not far from my Park Slope apartment, with a friend near Grand Army Plaza. When I got up I made coffee, wandered downstairs to pick up the newspaper, then obsessively checked my email on my iPhone. I had an email from Zoe. It was a forward of the email she'd sent to her brother-in-law regarding the rabbit-hole his inquiry about Trio A had led her down. She thought it might be of interest to me. It read, in part:
I started working with making pretty crude (i.e. not well made, not great materials, etc) plaster casts of the dancers bodies. basically i was/am going for trying to capture and sort of cauterize into space what i always, continuously see of the movement and their bodies for the viewer. i started working on this for our piece at the Frye Art Museum last November. each day i made more casts of the dancers bodies doing my choreography and hung them in the place where they did the action. they accumulated over the 7 days and the dancers had to keep doing the movement in the same space that this residue of their previous movement was now hanging. i wanted to see what would happen to my movement/choreography when the basic DNA was still there but the cellular structure had to adapt, so to speak. it was fun. i'm sending you some photos and links so that you get an idea of what i am talking about.
also i wasn't trying to make a stunning visual art statement or piece. it was about the fluidity of being able to quickly make tangible what i see in my mind so that the audience has the same framing that i have when i am seeing/making the movement and arranging it in space in time. it was a way to sort of get us all on the same page so that we could move on to the more nuanced, interesting, potent experience and potential of how all of this can/could interact. the end point for me wasn't (maybe now, is a bit more...) about the object. it was about the object as a framing device to open up, further see the movement, video, sound, dancers, choreography, etc.
I skimmed it quickly and went about my business, somewhat blearily confused about what it all meant.
The night before, we'd quickly established that Michael Klien and Steve Valk's piece Choreography for Blackboards, although it too engaged the situation of the dancers' bodies in space physically enacting a work, was aiming in a different direction. They were interested in the idea of "social choreography," a reframing of the choreographic vocabulary as a language of critical inquiry into contemporary social relations and organization. What Zoe was discussing with her brother-in-law was different and, seemingly, going in different directions.
Her brother-in-law, a sculptor, was interested in how movement could reveal something meaningful about objects in space. Zoe, though, was interested in how sculpture could capture or enhance meaningful tableaux from her choreography. They were, in other words, working in opposite directions: He from static to movement, to explore spectatorial experience, she from movement to static to explore the same.
All this was, I admit, lost on me. It was Sunday morning. I had coffee to drink, newspaper to read, and the inherent stress of being unproductive as an embedded critic to ignore. But as the day wore on, I began to think more and more about Zoe's email. Not for its merits in and of themselves, which only came to make sense to me later. No, what I got to thinking about was how I was trying to make sense of Zoe's comments on space (as opposed to movement, which at first blush would seem more natural) in her dialogue with her brother-in-law. But there was already a visual artist working with the company on the piece whose voice's absence was increasingly glaring.
Where in all this was Juniper?