Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2014’
Wayne McGregor/ Random Dance
Lam Research Center at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
January 19, 2014
This is an abstract study in movement and agility. It starts out with a male/female couple in a rather contentious vignette against a beautiful vocal sound track. The opening segment was intriguing, however, the rest of the performance seemed to be a repudiation of this promising outset. It was as if this opening represented something from the past that had given way to something much harsher, with less human connection and less emotional content. Perhaps it is an oblique comment on modern life. In any case the subsequent segments were set against clashing, percussive electronic soundtracks that incorporated sounds like the din of a factory, passing trains, jet airplanes on an airport runway, cars with stereos thumping full blast. Intrusive, noisy, discordant sounds. Blaring strobe lights add to this grating atmosphere of unpleasantness in an aggressive frontal assault on the audience. The dance that was set in front of all this was active, if not frenetic. Movements are fluid, but staccato, disjointed, contorted and sometimes grotesque. There is interaction between the dancers, but emotional connection seems shallow. Bodies are emphasized by the almost nude costuming, but there is little eroticism. The eroticism is fleeting and subdued. There is a feeling of detachment and narcissism throughout, like the activity on the streets of a large city where people are busily and anxiously active, but completely self absorbed and indifferent to others with whom they might be sharing the street and even casually interacting. This performance seemed determined to minimize emotional interaction. The dancers did an admirable job with a physically demanding program. It lasted one hour without an intermission — which I appreciated. The length was just about right, because this strident, relentless cacophony gets to be taxing. It was not exactly to my taste, but it did have interest.