Monday, June 15, 2009

clown smoking with his nose

This weekend, I was clued into the existence of two multimedia artists that at least have a toe in the world of modern dance, or for whom movement and the implications of movement is their medium. I rarely look into dance, mainly because I have to draw the line somewhere at what I routinely look into, but that line of focus is up for review.

First, the exuberant Thierry de Mey. This is the dance of Art the Aggressor, slicing into the field of vision with brute physicality and animal grace. Below is a performance of "Table Music" and "Love Sonnets."

In contrast, we have the painfully subdued tableaux Colin Gee. In these two selections from his "Portrait and Landscape" series, his characters are swallowed by the modern condition, the shudder of realizing where you are when you find yourself (literally and colloquially) alone in your apartment or hotel room, or in a conference room before a meeting. More on him in this NYTimes article.

To lighten the mood, here is Gee performing Alexander Calder's "Circus" at the Whitney, which contains its own sort of jolly pathos

Here is Calder doing it himself in a 1955 film by Jean Painleve. Be sure to catch the clown smoking with his nose at the 2-minute mark.

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