Saturday, September 17, 2016

Monumental -BAM Next Wave 2016

What do you get when dance troupe The Holy Body Tattoo dances to live music from Godspeed You! Black Emperor?

You get something monumental or at least called MONUMENTAL.

Actually when it all comes together it is one of the most hypnotic things you'll see all year.

The promotional material says something about the piece being about the daily grind of existence, yes, on some level it is. I don't think that's completely the case since any sort of thread disappears for extended periods of time to motion, music and occasionally some form of projection- either text or motion picture.

I think the reason that the daily grind thing is latched on to is because the text seems to tie together as a commentary of events that occur during one's life. Is that really what the piece is about? I'm not sure because in this case the pieces don't equal the whole- the whole is something frequently and ultimately transcendent.

Nominally dancers dance on the stands that can be seen in the pictures. They are all separate. Eventually they end up off the stands and moving enmass around the stage. Meanwhile behind them, partitioned off by a scrim on which the text and film is projected the musicians play. The music is an amalgam of previous material from God Speed! re-purposed as dance tunes.

The effect is quite striking as the various pieces come together to work on the audience in a deeply visceral manner. We don't see it we feel it. We don't register it intellectually as much experience it as sensory overload as if dropped in to a tank where every nerve and every sense is forced to fire at full throttle.  The result is giddiness, a heightened sense of awareness and exhaustion- I wanted to curl up and go to bed when it as done- hell I was dreaming when I was awake wasn't I?

Sadly the piece is only getting two shows at BAM with last one tonight.

What can I say that was one of the coolest things I've seen all year and more proof that the BAM Next Wave this year is something special (as if THE LONER, BRIDGE OVER MUD and PHEADRA(S) Wasn't already)

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