minifesto (2015)

Presented as part of the 2015 Bridge Project: Rewriting Dance  
Produced in association with CounterPulse
Joe Goode Annex - November 6, 2015

"A gray room. Three bodies in black working clothes. The lighting is clear and white, with the audience included in its wash. In the risers the audience is disorganized with their bunches of coats and rustling paper. Onstage, the performers organize time and space with a high degree of specificity. Moments arrive and depart at what feels like the behest of an precise time schedule, rather than on the basis of any achievement of an experiential or emotional peak. The three performers stand at neat angles to one another, cut through the space, and figure-eight their heads on their necks in unison in watchful calisthenics.

The performers share an equality of presence and agency. The space/time organization feels composed, not imposed, but inorganic nonetheless. When one performer stands off to the side to briefly sing about how “everybody needs a manifesto,” it lands like an intertitle in a silent movie: here is the relational frame for these disparate characters, and the explanation for the focus with which they approach the effort of their disparate tasks.

The performers file loose movement arcs down to tight circles. They keep time for one another in the spare room, by snapping their fingers or singing doom-doom, doom, doom. (The latter support seems like a comic surprise on arrival, then tilts a bit ominous as it goes on.) One dancer spins on herself, verbally counting out each slicing turn in a stage whisper. Two others perch on the floor, balancing on two knees to have a shouted conversation that bleeds in and out of melody: can they go off-script for just a sensuous moment? (The answer is emphatic: nope.) Other activities come and go: more conversations, a noisy scramble on the floor, deadpan looks at the audience. At the end all three assume a low lunge that would verge on being showy were it not for their arms left hanging heavy at their sides. One sings a final doom-doom and the lights click off." 

-Megan Wright