Thursday, August 19, 2010

with my hand against my throat (lalala human steps)

From the 2003 film "Amelia" here are two clips from Canadian dance company Lalala Humansteps doing something very unusual, very cool and, when I first saw this I could only call it very breathtaking, with classical ballet. I was a few years late in finding this but it was my inclination to pay very little attention to Canada when it comes to looking for something new, or of merit or done right even. Another of my many unsubstantiated judgments which Marie Chouinard has taken le wrecking ball to at least 4 times, la bitch.

Of course, prior to my ever finding dance in Canada they did deliver the funniest television show ever made, The Trailer Park Boys. But, they also gave us Anne Murray which negates it. Then again, they did involve themselves more and longer than anyone else in trying to aid Rwanda before and after the horrible 1994 genocide. But then there's RUSH...

Edouard Lock uses classic pointe dancing at amazing speed incorporating almost geometric motion and what I would call the equivalent of recitatives in opera - where the singing adopts the rhythms of regular speech: stops and starts or "ums" and "ahs". The dancing abandons the fluidity of ballet for the common ever day motion of humans walking down the street, stopping to look at something, talking, remembering, in a sudden stop, that they forgot to get the dry cleaning...get it? He uses film speed too of course but its not all done with mirrors....

I didn't think this had been done. ADD to this Pulitzer winning composer David Lang's incredible cello pieces (known most recently for work with Kronos Quartet on "Requiem for a Dream") and add to THAT - at least in clip #1 - the all-but obfuscated lyrics from Lou Reed's "Waiting for my Man" (sung by some girl, I didn't bother to find out who because that's how I do things) and this sum total is like the opium of classical sound and vision. The antithesis of what it should be disguised as what is accepted but not really but maybe enough to pass but maybe not....the viewer, you and me, are left to decide individually. There's no target audience and I love that. It's the lobster dripping in butter held with deliberate inappropriateness between the elegant fingers of a stunning young woman in a $1000 see-through blouse unnecessarily opened enough to show off a nipple, sitting alone at the table of a crowded 5 star restaurant in Manhattan, with enough money to buy the joint - but who will leave without paying the bill. Just because.

Note: I thought perhaps the opening clip of "Amelia" was a fluke and though there are some slow points, when I got to the segment above, I found myself watching with my hand against my throat and I do believe I lost my breath for a moment.