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 Post subject: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2002 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 195
Location: NYC
I saw this show last night and WOW. This is the freshest concept/choreography work i have seen all year. This is what math looks like. (But math the way Einstein saw it not some angst ridden 8th grader...) Geometry, Angles, near misses, sexy hot pants(you may not have remembered hot pants in your math class, neither do I, but this math class has it!) Alexander Gish, one of the hottest dancers in NYC slicing and dicing the air with those feet and that extension, weena pauly doing the choicest popin' and lockin' meets Cunnigham ever to come along. Brian Brooks' glitching robot boxer stuck in a 3 foot square(who knew blue could be funny?) Jo-anne Lee in a serene slowly leaning, tipping falling re-righting trek defining the idea of "diagonal". This is "Beach Birds" for the next generation -(hot pink flamingos) Did I mention sexy? The show opens with a suite of dances to Peaches, electroclash's reigning queen(of "**** the Pain Away" fame) decked out in frilly short shorts and feather boas( the excellent ever morphing, all things pink costumes by Eli Mcafee). John Stones' minimal gamelan/electronica score rounds out the show, integrating nicely the dances and motion capture animation sequences by Sarah Browder. This is the Next Thing. There is no story there is no emoting or yearning to offstage, this is pure precision, this is a machine of loving grace, yet so forcefully moving, emotionally and mentally. DANCE-O-MATIC!

For Arts Preview from NY's Gay City News click:
http://www.lgny.com/gcn24/PrettyInPink.html

<small>[ 04 April 2005, 02:20 AM: Message edited by: Admin ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 11:15 pm 
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Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Sexy math, now that sounds interesting. :cool: Peaches sure is one popular lady these days, they were even playing her at my hair-do place the last time I was in.


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2002 3:03 pm 
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Posts: 195
Location: NYC
From the Village Voice: 11/27/02
THINK PINK:
"Since when did minimalism come in bubblegum pink, jump high, and strut its stuff? Yet one of the giddy pleasures of Brian Brooks's dance-o-matic is that he concentrates on one movement module at a time, repeating it (with variations) until silliness and braininess merge. "
Complete Voice Article with Picture...(click here)


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:01 pm
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Location: NYC
:)

<small>[ 11-27-2002, 12:51: Message edited by: epist ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 195
Location: NYC
From the Dance Insider:

Ducking Pink Balloons Under the Radar with Brian Brooks and Cathy Weis
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2002 Chris Dohse

NEW YORK -- Two recent concerts, "Electric Haiku/An Abondanza in the Air" by Cathy Weis (at Dance Theater Workshop) and "Dance-o-Matic" by Brian Brooks Moving Company (Williamsburg Art Nexus), provide an opportunity to consider the plurality of contemporary Queer vision. I don't mean to imply anything about the choreographers' sexualities. I mean theoretical Queer, any celebratory subversive identity at odds with the legitimate, the dominant. The two programs share practical components: both alternate projected film segments, including animation, with live dancing. Weis's work is visually perverse and alternates between wacky and poignant. Brooks is a flesh peddler who knows how good it feels to be naughty.
more on Brian Brooks(and Cath Weis)...(click here)


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 1:28 am 
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Posts: 195
Location: NYC
Brian Brooks
Williamsburg Art Nexus
Brooklyn, New York
November 14–17, 2002

Reviewed by Chris Dohse (DANCE MAGAZINE Online)

The daring of Brian Brooks's dance-o-matic was evident before the theater doors opened. John Arsenault's photos in the lobby of Williamsburg Art Nexus, some of which featured the scantily clad cast and some of which portrayed strippers and their cropped body parts, established immediately the voyeuristic delight that was about to be enjoyed.

Not since 1995's Bubblegum Station, a part of Amorphous Body Study Center (a collaborative sound/sculpture installation by Charles Long and Stereolab) that was constructed from 280 pounds of pliable pink clay, has anything been so pink. Multiple costume changes, balloons, and ribbons used as props, neon tubes around the rim of the space, the program, the floor itself, even the tape on the dancers' feet, were all giddy with the color. Brooks's athleticism and unabashed sensuality, like Long's biologic/electronic network, questioned the relation of bodily pleasure to society.

Part of the inherent pleasure of dance-watching has always included an appreciation of young, healthy dancers' bodies. For dance-o-matic, Brooks acknowledged this by placing those bodies in the pop context of soft-core display: unisex, marabou-feathered halter tops and frilly-fringed trunks to begin with, designed by Eli McAfee. The smiley faces, lollipops, and flamingos that flickered and danced in Sarah Browder's fun animations, interspersed with segments of dancing, kept the exposed flesh from seeming risqué.

Each dancer was featured in a character-defining solo that seemed an elaboration of their inherent physical qualities. Weena Pauly, in a tulle skirt, suggested an unhinged ballerina. Her dancing contained a welcome fluidity and she seemed to be more connected to gravity than her colleagues. Brooks brought down the house when he entered with a flat blue surface on which he then executed a pop-locking puzzle. He certainly stuck to his guns, a clever embodiment of the rectilinear Cubist/Futurist paintings of Kazimir Malevich.

Alexander Gish and Jo-anne Lee joined Pauly for several trios. One, featuring windmilling arm swings and simple directional changes, was a particularly effective example a movement style that Brooks shares with many young New York choreographers: repetition within limited range, and small-scaled, detailed variation unfolding wittily. In this case, the three bodies looked as if they were the mechanism creating the chimes in the functional, clocklike score.

Other sections were based around transition steps, simple traveling infused with insouciance, as in an opening duet for Brooks and Pauly to a song by synth/punk/pop cult star Peaches. There was a Streb-influenced jumping trio, minus contraptions, where bodies were heaved to and fro in midair. Some elements were inserted from last year's Faster!, including Browder's most realized animation, where random dots first became a stick figure and then Brooks was revealed as the source of the motion-captured drawing.

Brooks has coached his dancers into uniformity, down to specificity of gaze and the level of tension in their wrists. During one luridly lit quartet, the dancers' blank stares became the masks of horror-film victims and the pink vinyl floor took on the queasy hue of Pepto-Bismol. Then John Stone's score swelled with oddly warm piano tones and chords for a densely choreographed finale. This material hinted at a broader vocabulary in Brooks's future that might take itself more seriously. But for now, his tongue-in-cheek, minimalist gymnastics are bubblicious.


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:09 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks a lot Chris - it sounds like a fun show and yet another one I hope comes to London.

<small>[ 06 March 2003, 05:09 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I'm not sure this short writeup deserves its own thread, so if it does, could the moderators move it? Thanks.

I just came back from a performance of Brian Brooks's Dance-o-Matic at Santa Barbara's annual modern dance celebration, Summerdance. Dance-o-matic is a witty, imaginative celebration of design through moving pop art. Six dancers (Brian Brooks, Nicholas Duran, Alexander Gish, Jo-anne Lee, and Weena Pauly) supplied the moving pop art as they introduced a movement theme in various groups that's then expanded in sometimes unexpected, sometimes witty, but always surprisingly logical ways. Movements are repeated, but with variation in direction, or speed, or interaction with one another, all interlocking into a whole impression. Think of La Bayadere's Kingdom of the Shades or any of the architecturally grand Petipa constructions, except done in pink with modern dance movement. Mechanically sensuous in its unfolding, but not as tightly woven as some Balanchine (think of the way soloists smoothly go in and out of the ensemble in Serenade, for example), the formations were linear and highly constrained in their use of space allowing us to see the ensemble's evolution very clearly.

These dance segments' themes were introduced by videos of computer-generated abstract geometric patterns (think of an extremely pink screensaver or a game of pink Pong gone awry), or, in one case, pink balloons inflated and batted around by the audience, making for the most successful integration of video and dance as a co-performance (as opposed to the Ballet Boyz's expository videos, for example) I'd yet seen.

Speaking of pink, one couldn't escape the color, as audience members in the know (most of them --- was there a memo?) wore pink, sometimes amplified by outlandish outfits that you only see in theme costume parties, along with the pink set and lighting. A large pool of pink, the dance area in Center Stage Theatre's black box configuration, was delineated by a square of 9 pink fluorescent tubes. Dancers would sometimes tentatively, sometimes ceremouniously step into the pink pool to start a dance segment. Lighting presented many shades of pink throughout, emphasizing and complementing the various pink costumes the dancers wore and the choreography.

Music started out with 3 songs by Peaches, and continued with minimalist-style music by John Stone. Sometimes no music accompanied the movement, with only the rhythmic steps of the dancers accompanying the movement. Reinforcing the overtly visible structure of its design, the repetitious music fit very well.

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
along with the pink set and lighting. A large pool of pink, the dance area in Center Stage Theatre's black box configuration, was delineated by a square of 9 pink fluorescent tubes. Dancers would sometimes tentatively, sometimes ceremouniously step into the pink pool to start a dance segment. Lighting presented many shades of pink throughout, emphasizing and complementing the various pink costumes the dancers wore and the choreography.
Since the lighting made such an impression on you, could you tell us who designed it?

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Yes! My apologies for forgetting to mention Jeremy Morris, the lighting designer, as well as Sarah Browder Venkatesh, the video director and editor. The set installation was done by Brian Brooks, and BTW I can't count because there were really 12 fluourescent tubes instead of 9.

If the show hadn't sold out tonight, I would have gladly gone to see it again. There's a cute picture on their preliminary website of the costumes and one stance that they used for the first part of Dance-o-Matic:

http://www.brianbrooksmovingcompany.com

--Andre


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:18 am 
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Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
Frolic in a Cotton-Candy World
by GIA KOURLAS for the New York Times

Brian Brooks is a boy who just wants to have fun. He balances formal, unison movement with bold strokes of color and a charming vaudevillian flair. But his dances rarely add up to much more than eye candy.

April 4, 2005
MORE


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 195
Location: NYC
I saw this show. And it was brilliant. Sugary Sweet? Fun, Yes. Silly at Times, Yes. Tiringly so? Never. Absurdism and Playfulness tied to minimalist formalism makes for perfect theater in my book. Every dance is about endurance. the opening number the endurance of necks and abs. Later a dance where two dancers toss ms. pauly back and forth between each other. The final syncing hand to the minutia of note changes of bolero in it's entirety. Each new color emerging from the start in the white, clever and introducing a new movement idea taken to it's relentless extreme of possibility.

The only complaint I would have is that I would have wanted the bolero finale to grow a little larger in movement, a step or two here, a full arm gesture, not just hands by the time the music becomes it's grandest. But I admire Brian's commitment to not doing that as well. It's an 18 minute or so song and it's rather brave to choreograph an entire dance of only sign-language, hands that become fish, and bubbles and waves against the dancers' black formal spanish style gowns. Mesmerizing and intricately pulling out notes and changes in and bits of the song you woundn't have noticed otherwise.

No one is doing work like this and he should be applauded for making such formal and crisp and precision work which could very easily be dry and robotic, emotionless and tiresome, not only palatable, but completely fun. And what's wrong with giving your audience candy and taking them for a short samba around the joint?

I for one enjoyed it.

<small>[ 06 April 2005, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: epist ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Brian Brooks and Moving Company
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:33 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks for that, epist! I've seen the company but only in snippets as part of a multi-company production. It looks like I need to make an effort to seek them out next time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:21 pm 
And here is a proper review of the Pinata show which is having a three day run a ADF this week.
"Review: ADF 'Piñata' audience saw something special

By Susan Broili : The Herald-Sun
sbroili@heraldsun.com
Jul 6, 2005 : 6:09 pm ET

DURHAM -- Who needs fireworks when there's "Piñata" performed by Brian Brooks Moving Company?

The choreographer, who attended the American Dance Festival in 1992 when he had a student job on the stage crew, makes a triumphant festival debut with his own company for a three-day run that began Monday.

Brooks' zany brand of humor, painterly sense of design, inventive mind and playful imagination as well as use of repetition, infuse this new work so that the 70-minute dance zips by. "

more from the herald sun-> (click here)




http://www.heraldsun.com/features/54-624112.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
They're performing Pinata this weekend in Santa Barbara to kick off our Summerdance modern dance festival. It looks like tickets are sold out for both shows, otherwise I may have tried to twist Azlan's arm to get him down here. :)

I'll be there on Saturday night if anyone else is going to be around.

--Andre


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