Theater

Watching, But not Writing

 

I must confess. I’ve seen some dance and performance that I haven’t written about. Some of it was just too dull. Some of it just didn’t inspire. And others I couldn’t find the time to write the fullness they demanded. So here is a list:

May 7th Rioult Dance NY, “Bach Dances”

May 6th ODC School, “Uncertain Weather”File_000 (28)

April 28th Risa Jaroslow & Dancers, “Touch Bass”

April 21st San Francisco Playhouse, “Noises Off”

April 6th Wooster Group, “The Town Hall Affair”

February 21st, San Francisco Ballet, “Frankenstein”

February 18th Mike Daisey, “The End of Journalism”

I’m looking forward to Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, “Dearest Home” (May 18 –  20) and Hope Mohr 10th Anniversary Season, “Precarious” (June 1 – 3). And I’m looking forward to writing.

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February 13th, “Ondine”

The Cutting Ball Theater

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I went to this play on the recommendation of someone I met in a laundry mat.  I texted a friend, and within an hour we had tickets.  Again, I went for the experience of being with others.  The performance seemed secondary.   I wonder how often this happens – how many people sitting in a theater are there because they want to be others (for whatever reason)?  After the show, we did talk about the production, performance,  and writing, but what mattered more was that we were together.  Sometimes it seems that what lingers after is not the story, actors, sets, music, or costumes, but the connections between people and the exchange of thinking, feeling, and musing.   This was an evening well spent even if the company lingered more than the performance.

 

October 3rd, “Eurydice”

Written by  Sarah Ruhl  and Directed by  Erika Chong Shuch

On an unexpected date with myself.  I just had to go after hearing from more than one person of its delights, its realness.

What resonated:

Love

Oblivion

Buckets

The chorus!  of stones no less.  For a brief moment I was thrown back into Ch. 2 of the dissertation – my fascination with how playwrights “do” the greek chorus.  They sang, they moved, they were “dancers.”

I was moved – I felt something.

I am compelled to read some Sarah Ruhl….when I have time, maybe next year.

 

April 3rd, “Antigonick”

Written by  Anne Carson  and Co-directed by Mark Jackson & Hope Mohr 

A friend of mine commented that she didn’t like this production of Antigone. She said as a story it left her cold; she didn’t really care about anyone.  Honestly, I hadn’t thought about that.  My interest in Greek tragedy, especially Antigone, has a history (Chapter 2 of my dissertation was about the Greek tragic chorus).  Hence, I am always interested to see how rhetoric gets treated in Antigone – how do the public/private, justice/law, man/god, individual/communal binaries get drawn – how much does the power of speech matter – how does the chorus move (rhetorically).  As such, I don’t need to care about anyone.   Antigonick doesn’t shy away from rhetoric even if it doesn’t “do it all.”  Not all the elements are in this production (a common fate of modern productions of Antigone, at least the one’s I’ve seen). But it didn’t bother me. Perhaps I was distracted by the dancing or the use of plastic and dirt.  Maybe it was the literal moving of a dead corpse throughout the play or the humor displayed by the messenger/guard.  There was a high level artistry in this production.  Antigonick reminds us that tragedy does matter (it can still teach).  Because we keep repeating their lessons, the Greeks are never that far away from us even if their tragedies appear differently.   I might try and see this again before it closes, and that doesn’t happen very much.

PS. I know this isn’t a dance, but there was a lot of dancing and I just couldn’t help but write about this.