On Tuesday, Sept. 7th, we had both our BAC residency culminating showing, and the final event for our NYC 2010 “Don’t Suck!” Competition.
It was a thrilling evening. I felt that we transcended the notion of performing “for” people, and instead were able to connect at some other level as a group of people meeting in studio 4B at BAC at that particular moment, having a set of experiences together.
I think the fact that our performance was a structured improvisation (like a sports game) where a winner and loser would be found based on things no one could predict; and the fact that Mikhail Baryshnikov came to the show and stayed the whole time; and because our 2.5 weeks of intensive 8 hour days in that studio had built up a lot of energetic momentum for us–all made the evening a powerful one.
Once again, picking a winner and loser was difficult. Judges before the show said they would be able to score performers easily, and then during the show reported that it was much harder than they had anticipated. Particularly challenging was picking a loser. When looking for winners, I had the audience vote, and most did so. When looking for a loser, only 4 or 5 audience members were willing to raise their hands. It seems like we’ve discovered some interesting focus points for our future investigations.
But we did have decisions by the judges. Julia Hollas won the creation competition. She had faced off against David Ryther and Mantra Plonsey. Each made a piece, 5 minutes or less, and performed them for the judges and audience. It was a very close race.
Dana DeGuzman won the performer competition–also a close race. Mantra Plonsey came out on the bottom and got to do the loser dance to close the show.
Like our whole time in residency, the culminating performance stirred up a lot of interesting shadow-aspects to explore further. I’m very much looking forward to the next stages of this journey.
Here are some excerpts from the performance. (If you look closely you can pick out Mr. Baryshnikov sitting in the front row. I was very inspired by his humble presence and his support of young, experimental choreographers. Perhaps he will be the subject for a future post…)