May 5th, “Tacit Consent”

Choreography by Liss Fain 

I didn’t take many notes for this performance; I didn’t need to.  The idea was simple and executed clearly, and I was able to physically and mentally move through the piece without a lot of unnecessary noise.  I don’t mean to imply that the dance was simplistic because it wasn’t.  Rather, it spoke intelligibly and complexly about surveillance and privacy with a felt playful intimacy that carried throughout the 45-minute piece.

The space at YBCA was divided into four “rooms” by hung walls crafted out of various materials that despite having gaps and slits were illuminated by various projections.  Matthew Antaky and Frédéric Boulay created an impressive physical, visual, and sonic installation.  

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The program notes pointed out that Tacit Consent is an immersive performance installation.  To see and hear everything you must walk about.”  I rather enjoyed the freedom of moving about and within the performance even if it was impossible to see the whole dance.  It was voyeuristic, playful, and intimate.  And the dancing amplified this experience.  The choreography embodied different kinds of desire for isolation, contact, curiosity, etc. by creating purposeful movement that could be felt from the feet of the dancers to the tops of their heads.  Nothing seemed to be wasted.  This dance was satisfyingly fun.

As the title suggests, there is something to consider about how easily we seem to allow ourselves to be watched and how easy it is to watch others.  What power do we “give up”?   To whom? For what purpose?  Even in all the fun of this dance there is a seriousness that lingers –  in the story of Edward Snowden – in the technology of drones – in the security cameras in our hallways.



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