DEMOCRACY CAN BE TRICKY
The JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience really switched gears last night as it was turned on its head last by Foofwa d’ Imobilite’.
The audience was asked by this Swiss choreographer to choose a dance phrase, a theatrical action, music, lighting and costume presented by each of the members of the dance company, setting in motion the direction and theme in which the performance was to take shape . The result was titled “Previous Desires Of The Balcony In Sugar” created during “the Making of Specatcles”.
It’s not everyday that in mid performance the dancers stop and ask the audience how they feel about the direction in which the choreography and theme is shaping. But lo and behold it happened last night to answer my prayers because I could not handle “The TV on the Balcony” music . It was hideous and is a true testament to why democracy and majority vote is not always the best idea. An orchestral number called “Spring” then changed the whole ambiance of the performance and made it audibly more bearable..
The dancer/actors made no attempt to re-create the “mystique ” of the theatre. In plain view were their props, chairs, cables, costume and clothing racks. And as the audience made their way into the auditorium the dancers were warming up iom stage. Very Brechtian. I’m sure wherever he is Brecht was looking down with tears of pride in his eyes.
One could not help but hear the grumbles from the dance connoisseurs because last nights night’s performance fell short of what they had envisioned. Calls for “something pretty” or “we never chose that!” and disgruntled comments could be heard. But the truth was the performance was chosen and created by them, the dancers simply put the themes together.
Other audience members however totally loved the experimental work and they spoke to Foofwa after the show. He talked about how each performance has three basic skeletons; how the choices of the audience influences and resets the theme; so every night it’s a different theme, different spacing and is a challenge for the performers to remember the connecting combinations which will obviously shift.
Conceptually “The Making of Spectacles” is a brilliant idea of deconstructing dance while involving the audience.