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Thom Donovan

THOM DONOVAN edits the weblog Wild Horses Of Fire, now in its 7th year. His book, The Hole (2012), published by Displaced Press, can be purchased through Small Press Distribution. He is currently at work revising and editing a book of essays and statements, provisionally titled Sovereignty and Us.

WILLIAM FORSYTHE'S Decreation at BAM

It is an extremely difficult thing to translate ideas across languages, and perhaps more so to translate them across aesthetic forms and mediums. In William Forsythe’s Decreation, Forsythe attempts to translate poet-translator Anne Carson’s 2005 book of poetry, essay, and opera, Decreation, into a movement and language-based performance.

Replay as Revivification: PARADES & CHANGES, REPLAYS AT DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP, PERFORMA 09, November 18th, 2009

When art historians eventually look back on the aughts, I think it will be said that the predominant art form of this decade was the reenactment, works that “replay” or “redo” previous works of art or cultural texts.

Everyone In This Room Is In This Fucking Dance: MIGUEL GUTIERREZ’S WHEN YOU RISE UP

While many choreographers dance in their productions, I wonder how often a choreographer writes for their works. Miguel Gutierrez’s book of “performance texts,” When You Rise Up, shows a readership that dance, too, can be language intensive, if not the extension of a poetics (as Eileen Myles suggests in a blurb to the book, these texts in fact comprise a kind of poetry).

WORLD REMAKING IN KATHY WESTWATER’S PARK

If the current environmental crisis proves anything, it is how unnatural “nature” actually is. Which is to say, how increasingly what has been perceived as “natural” is contingent on human involvement and error. Kathy Westwater’s latest work, PARK, conceived in collaboration with poet Jennifer Scappettone, extends her preoccupations with the horrors of the body, a subject which she explored in her 2008 work Macho.

REBECCA DAVIS’s What I’m Saying Is Born From The Weather

There are a lot of reasons to make art about the weather right now, the most obvious being climate change. Rebecca Davis’s what I’m saying is born from the weather may be addressing the fate of our climate system. More likely, though, she is evoking the weather as a fundamental force of change and becoming.

Self, Unending

Xavier Le Roy’s Self Unfinished, which I viewed in a packed audience at the Museum of Modern Art in early February, is among a series of works by Le Roy exploring the limits of what, recalling Baruch Spinoza, a “body can do.” Given Le Roy’s background in biology (he holds a Ph.D. in that field), one cannot help but think about the influence of the “hard sciences” on his choreography.

“AS NIGHTFALL DOES NOT COME ALL AT ONCE…”: Yvonne Rainer’s Politics of Pathos

For Yvonne Rainer, dance is text. I suppose this has been said many times before. But it bears repeating, given her March performances at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, organized by Performa: Spiraling Down (2008), and the American premiere of Assisted Living: Good Sports 2 (2011).

Gravity and Gravity

It is telling to me that Rachid Ouramdane’s Ordinary Witnesses, which had its New York premiere at New York Live Arts in October, begins not with the sense of sight, but with a demand upon its audience to listen.

Choir Praxis: On Daria Fain’s and Robert Kocik’s Phoneme Choir Movement Research Festival, Judson Memorial Church, May 4, 2009

A phoneme is the smallest sound unit by which we distinguish one word from another. There are more phonemes (upwards of 40 in English) than letters of the alphabet because some letters represent two or more sounds

Instead of Back Up

Heather Kravas’s The Green Surround is replete with references to the training of dancers, especially with regard to classical ballet. The setting for the work, we are told in the press release, is in fact a ballet studio.

All I want is to be in a band

Thom Donovan edits the weblog Wild Horses Of Fire, now in its 7th year. His book, The Hole (2012), published by Displaced Press, can be purchased through Small Press Distribution. He is currently at work revising and editing a book of essays and statements, provisionally titled Sovereignty and Us.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

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