Recently I caught a production of Maresa Von Stockert's dance theatre piece Marjorie's World Unhinged. This was a fascinating and very artistic exploration of the suffering of dancers (mainly ballerinas) during lengthy training. It acted as an expose on the values of youth, "beauty" and the current obsession with being thin.
"Marjories World" also utilised video in dramatic and varying ways. During the "after show talk" Maresa Von Stockert made it clear that the aim of the piece was to question the notion that one has to quit professional dancing by the age of 30! She used dancers who were over 30 (2 of them were well over 30!) as well as younger dancers. The acrobatics of the older dancers left no doubt in my mind that top level dance is possible at virtually any age.
Joy Constantinides was phenomenal, playing an aging ballerina, falling to the floor and hanging upside down from a table! Max Reed was also amazing as the protagonist's husband. He revealed a sad, obsessive existence, punished by bosses for being, well, over 30! He also danced with vigor and creativity.
Laura Cadlow, Natalia Thorn and Matthew Morris were the younger dancers (Morris a little older than 30!). They all impressed, utilising Von Stockerts cerebral and humorous choreography, with incredible feats of strength (Cadlow dancing under and over a bar) beautiful imagery (Thorn dancing with 4 balloons tied to her limbs) and Morris dancing in a variety of ways, at one point dancing while putting on a dress!
Maresa Von Stockerts choreography is at times "psychoanalytic" and undoubtedly experimental. However, if you go to see one of her performances don't expect a dull, impenetrable exercise in how to baffle and piss-off an audience. Her choreography delights by being bold and aggressive. Von Stockert has an eccentric sense of humor, that never dwindles, even during the weightiest or saddest moments. Her experiments with video are notable, particularly the sequence involving Cadlow holding a mini video camera with her toes and slowly dancing with it. Her image, shifting and changing with the position of her foot, was projected onto the main screen, while unpretentious commentary examined her fears of aging, being fat and not being beautiful enough.
It is unsuprising that Maresa Von Stockert is causing a stir, with her brand of choreography, that is entertaining, intelligent, experimental and humorous. Her themes not only deal with abstract ideas, but embrace problems that affect us all, leaving the theatre goer with plenty to ponder after the show. And you won't leave without a few laughs!
L'arene chance! Strangly, as time shifts or, one could argue, expectedly, if one were inclined to do so, time although mottled and hued, acts as an indicator of assemblage (via perception) rather than the assemblage its self or its causation.
Time causes assemblage to splinter and crack, to redefine its splicing, to follow the creative timbre of perception.
Time, as we know, is non-existent, however it is a notion that corresponds to animate, human consciousness. Therefore we can take it that time is existent, atleast to human experience and this misapprehension is necessary, in one shape or form, for human understanding/life.
So, leaving time aside, perhaps seeing it as "flow" like a subatomic particle that passes through things, through people, we are left with assemblage, perception, the Internet and the Theatre.
The playfulness of the Internet experience, that questionable "I"; a place, surely not mon amis (!) leads my thought to shift from one intent, my intended intention to a happenstance intention, one brought about via the virtual world.
It is odd how assemblage, in this sense meaning corresponding ideas and things that assemble in some such way, and then with the passing of time/flow, reassemble in some other way..... It is odd how the stuff of this assemblage, by this I mean the instinct towards creativity, or ideas and their practical execution (things or movement) (tangible expression), alters its definition and outward form, yet the intrinsic stuff (creativity) that is expressed alters very little.
I make no apology for my use of dance-terms, such as "flow", "form", "shift", etc. to express my comprehension of time, assemblage, perception, the Internet and the Theatre. Dance is a very human form of expression, at once apprehensible and deeply evocative. In her book "To Dance is Human" Judith Hanna writes "When dance is suppressed for moral, religious or political reasons, it rises pheonixlike to assert the essence of humanity." Its current popularity would naturally flow then!
By this I refer to the increasing urbanisation of British culture, the increasing change and ever-increasing technologization of Western life and the political and economic malaise and stagnancy of Western life. There are of course, a plethora of other reasons why dance is the current "obsession".
As these notes grow in shape, content and form, ideas, freestyle, occur and the playfulness of Internet writing reminds me of the playfulness of dance, its bodily necessity and bodily enquiry.
The Internet, a fickle and dramatic computer "world", once again, emphasizes the human need to perceive something as humanly explicable, metaphorical, communicable and malleable.
The Internet, of course, is nothing more than electronic connections, shared computer space, a function of human creativity. Yet, being human, to us it is a "virtual world", something intriguing, full of intellectual and practical possibilities.
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