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 Post subject: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2000 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Reading through the descriptions of Elizabeth Streb's work, in reviews and from audience members, brings up an ongoing question for me. What's the difference between modern dance and gymanstics? It seems (I haven't see "Action heroes"yet, but plan on it)that there is a lot of "apparatus" and acrobatic moves in this show (and in her work in general)...is there music,,,,,does it look highly choreographed..is there a narrative or overriding theme other than "movment for movement's sake"? Anyone out there familiar with her work want to jump in? Or better yet, jump in with examples from other groups/choreographer...Pilobolus, Momix, ISO, whatever!!! <p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited November 27, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2000 12:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Oh yes - Momix is coming to Anchorage the 8th and 9th of December - those with first-hand audience-side knowledge can pipe up any time! I'll check for any older threads we had going on them too of course.<P>Aeros too - the Romanian gymnasts performing (or executing) material created by Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons, and Moses Pendleton.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2000 10:36 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Has anyone seen Aeros...? What did you think?<BR>In answer to the Momix question...they are a "spin-off" of Pilobolus. Their works are sensual, extremely visually pleasing, gymnasic-y (lots of tricks and illusions). The individual pieces tend to be short, often involving invvovative props and/or sets, typically not having any "story", but often a very arresting idea or visual image.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 93
Location: new york city
I saw Aeros when they came to Meany Hall here in Seattle -- they didn't live up to my high hopes for a union of gymnastics and dance. It seemed a lot like I imagine something like the Discover Card Tour of Champions would be -- gymnastics in a cool setting with some interesting movement, but basically just a chance to flip around and impress people.<P>A more complete review (that I did for a class) can be found at: <a href="http://students.washington.edu/bean/aeros.html">http://students.washington.edu/bean/aeros.html</a>. (I hope that works!)<P>Were they interesting? Yes, in that way that the gymnastics in the Olympics are -- wow! Look what she/he/they can do! But was it modern dance....it didn't feel like it. There didn't seem to be though to including any movement that wasn't directly related to flipping over or, in a few cases, laying a background for flipping over. Everything seemed to be about justifying the upside down bits; there didn't seem to be anything more to the pieces than that. <P>That's not to say that there aren't dance pieces that exist just to justify different kinds of movement...but for me, those are the ones that lose me quickly. <P>And I could ruminate more but I think I'm talking in circles, so.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I have no doubt that Momix and Pilobolus is dance and good dance at that. With Streb the gymnastic element is much more to the fore and is emphasised by the fact that the show I saw was accompanied by the amplified sound of the performers' steps. I am prepared to go along with an artist's description of what they are doing and accept Streb's description of what she does as dance. i have to say that after some initial interest I quickly tired of the experience, because I found the emphasis on the difficulty of the actions made for rather dull movement. I elected to read some business papers in the foyer rather than watch the second half. <P>Here is Judith Mackrell's distinctly luke-warm review:<P> <A HREF="http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,297682,00.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,297682,00.html</A> <P><BR>Deborah Colker is another choreographer who explores the boundaries between dance and gymnastics, but with emphasis on the former, even in the very athletic finale to her last London show which takes place on a climbing wall. Here is a topic about her work:<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000175.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000175.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 12:42 am 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Momix performed in Anchorage this past weekend - Anne Herman reviews in the Anchorage Daily News:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Watching Momix was like entering a dream of light, shapes and movement. What a delightful way to get hooked on the magic of dance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>The column is here -- <A HREF="http://www.adn.com/lifestyles/story/0,2649,220379,00.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.adn.com/lifestyles/story/0,2649,220379,00.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2000 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Streb used to refer to her work (I don't know if she still does or not) as Pop Action. The work of hers I am most familiar with is a piece she created for the company I work with. In that case, the only accompanying sound was the amplified and reverberated sound of the dancers hitting the metal wall, and also the floor mats. As well as any noises or words they made while doing the work. And frankly, I would not have wanted any music to be accompanying it. Knowing and hearing them expel their breath as they threw themselves at the wall was pretty amazing.<P>The work I have seen her company do, and this was several years ago at American Dance Festival, also was not accompanied by any sounds other then the work they were doing.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2000 11:34 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
YEs she still refers to her work as Pop Action. There has been a mix of reactions to her recent concert here in Seattle.I personally enoyed it.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern Dance vs. Gymnastics
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I don't know if any of you recall this -- you'd have to be pretty old, like me. But Johnny Carson was a big fan of Pilobolus from its inception. Repeatedly featured them on the Tonight Show. Last time they were in town, I was in a (primarily dancer) audience on a local show that featured them prior to their mainstage performances that weekend. I hung out for a short time afterwards with one of their dancers who also acted as spokesman, and he gave me a few insights. One was that it is critical that these people rid themselves very quickly of any tensions and arguments amongst each other. I'm going to replace what I just wrote, which was a direct quote and could offend many, with a paraphrase -- simply that because of the close proximity of their bodies to each other (you fill in the rest) it just doesn't work to let disagreements fester. It was also pointed out that they don't take regular class (like I would take ballet class in preparation for a character dance performance) because there's little in a traditional dance class that would prep them for what they do on stage, and they must do other kinds of exercise to prepare them for rehearsal and performance. Therefore, there's some suggestion/admission that they are stretching the definition of dance. <P>Another thing. There's an offshoot: Pilobolous Two that has been here twice. I saw them the first time after they conducted an outreach workshop and the performance, containing children's pieces and pieces featuring just the two company members, was full of parents and very small children. It outraged a number of people in the irresponsibility of content. One piece had a woman wearing a long skirt and doing a lot of movement on the floor. At one point, the skirt came up for some time, revealing what appeared to be nothing more than transparent underpants (not dance briefs) and eventually, she smiled flirtatiously and coyly moved the skirt back down over her private parts. I still can't believe it. <P>As for MOMIX, it always sells out here, BUT there is an undeniable shift in how many people (dancers) here feel about this troupe. I'm hearing that it's passe, or that it's pseudo-innovative, or just not as exciting to them as it once was. Personally, I enjoyed the baseball program they did best of any of them.


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