Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall for Dance

Event: Fall for Dance
Place: Orange County Performing Artscenter*
Like/Don't Like: Don't Like

I'm always up for a cheap live artsy event so when Katie said that there were $10 good seats for this dance thing at OCPAC I said sure. It was probably around the time when So You Think You Can Dance was on so I'm sure I was feeling like I really got dance at the time. Like I totally know all about movement and emotion and whatever. I'm clearly insane. I know nothing about dance.

I consider myself to be appreciative of the Arts. You all know how much I love to hug books, but I also love art and plays and movies and music. And I feel like I can usually get it. I don't need a whole lot of explanation to understand what makes something worthwhile. This is mostly because I'm fairly simple minded (remember, it's called "like/don't like" for a reason). But apparently I have been deluding myself for years and should probably head home to the backwoods of Chino because most of the dances made me think that I must be some small town rube. I didn't get it at all.

Here's how the night broke down:

That Ball Thingy
The Nudey One
Martha Graham's Statement Against Fascism
The One with the Muscly Man
The Hip-Hop One
The One of the Wall

A brief synopsis in semi-random order:

The One with the Muscly Man was just that. "Wow" is about all I have to say. Okay, "wow" and "huh?" because it didn't make much sense. But it was very beautiful to watch.

The Hip-Hop One was pretty good, mostly straight-forward stuff. Although I was slightly disturbed that one of the dances kept holding onto the crotch of his pants. I wanted to let him know that only 4 year old boys are allowed to get away with that.

The award for weirdest dance went to Martha Graham's Statement Against Fascism. Initially I thought that it was pretty cool that we got to see the Martha Graham dance company perform one of her signature pieces. But that was before it started. That chick was crazy! Which, kind of made it fun to watch. And fun to imitate. The next time we're together you should ask to see some of the moves. I will be happy to show you. Or you can just watch the choreography scene in "White Christmas". It's the same stuff. At least this one had a good synopsis to explain it all to us.

That Ball Thingy is almost impossible to describe without it sounding incredibly dorky, but it was actually kind of mesmerizing. It was basically 60 people passing brightly colored Nerf balls in funky patterns. This was the largest ball-passing thingy ever attempted. Up until this point the most that had been done was 45. Yep, passing balls is for dorks but it looked like they were having a good time.

And now for the Nudey One. It was a duet from some Dutch ballet company and the synopsis said something about how throughout the dance they will reveal their true colors. Well, apparently that true color is flesh. Halfway through the show both dancers took their shirts off and they had shirts on underneath. But near the end the guy took his shirt off with nothing on underneath and then I think our collective thought process went something like this: She's not going to...oh, she is going to take it off...But she wouldn't...okay, she did turn around... But surely they'll...nope, no strategically placed arms. They totally could have charged more than $10 for this.

By the end of the show we were pretty confused but they still had one more performance outside in the courtyard and it redeemed the whole night. A bunch of dancers repelled down the side of the building and danced on the wall. Now that was cool.

*Dear OCPAC, Art Center is two words, not one. Love, Rachel


Laura said...

I don't get that kind of stuff either. Why does art/dance/literature always have to MEAN something? Can't it just be fun to watch/read, etc.? I remember during an American lit class during my brief stint at Mt. Sac there was an essay on the final that asked us to analyze some short story. I just thought it was a nice story. If there was foreshadowing and symbolism and all that, I didn't see it. I basically wrote that and wrote an entire essay on just enjoying the story and not analyzing it to death. I got an A.

So that just reminded me of all this dance stuff. If the dance world wants it to MEAN something, then it's not for me...I just want it to be pretty or fun to watch.

Valerie said...

I too saw Fall for Dance. I saw it at the City Center, and it sounds like I might have gotten a better show. I went twice (it was $10, come on). I saw the the National Ballet of Finland, or Norway or something. I saw a guy who's been a principle dancer at City Ballet for the last two decades. I saw a guy wearing a tulle skirt dance to hip hop and the sound so sirens. And it was amazing.
But, dance is like any kind of art. What it "means" is secondary to what it means to you. Even more so how you respond to it, emotionally, physically, mentally. It's like those big canvases of color in modern art museums. They aren't supposed to "say" anything. You're supposed to stand smack dab in the middle, breathe in, and allow the color to surround you.
And, dancing on walls doesn't impress me much. Have ever heard of a certian man called Bert, from a cult classic, Mary Poppins? He can dance on house tops. Top that.