By Gregory Holt, January 10, 2013I sat in on the first wrecking in this process today. An audience of
about 30 had gathered to watch Annie Parson and Paul Lazar of Big
Dance Theater invade Susan's material for 208 East Broadway Part 5.
Susan had her dancers perform the material they had created to date,
and then Annie and Paul stood up and began to methodically change
everything. At the end of three hours, Susan would be presented back
with a new dance, much of her own material but totally foreign,
serving totally different interests than the ones that had motivated
It was fascinating to watch... when I got there I wasn't sure if it
was going to feel like watching a rehearsal or performance or
something else- and then there was so much activity, it was definitely
something else. In my experience, time in a creative process operates
in peculiar ways - for months time stretches out endlessly looping to
suddenly lurch on to new horizons. Maybe time is always like this.
Maybe its just my ideas about time which are smooth, consistently
paced, linear. The carefully constructed 'space' and 'time' in
creative work is a way to make use of a kind of abstraction/idealism
about space and time, so its funny how I always bang up into what I
should have known from experience, or I guess when creative process
shows you what you've already lived through.
Anyway, the container of the wrecking generated a flurry of activity,
as Annie and Paul moved rapidly to cover ground. I imagine they could
have stayed with one tiny thing the whole three hours, but being
presented with the material Susan had developed felt like an
irresistible invitation (even to us in the audience, as came up in the
conversation at the end of day)- there was this sense of wanting to
reach out and touch it all! Twist it around like tangrams and see what
patterns could be made.
I noticed Amy Smith of Headlong comment on facebook that at the end of
the wrecking there were more/different entrances to the material and I
was reminded of the old Leonard Cohen line- “there is a crack in
everything- that's how the light gets in.” I need to remember not to
be an overprotective parent in my dance making, and let it get a
little cracked up.