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 Post subject: Redefining Avant-Garde
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2000 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Image <BR>Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson in "Part"<P><BR>Deborah Jowitt, in the Village Voice, tries to define the meaning of "avant-garde". She interviews graduates of the Judson Dance Theater who were active members of the avant-garde 60s, including Steve Paxton and Trisha Brown:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>We don't have a raucous avant-garde today. Earlier this summer, I sat down with Paxton, then with Brown, to hash over the matter. As Paxton says, "You've got to have contrast to see anything. I strongly feel that's one reason for the avant-garde; it lets you see what the center is." But these days the division between that "center" and the fringe is more porous. If, indeed, we can determine a center. Once, shocking audiences was a political strategy, considered to be a way of waking them up (e.g., Yvonne Rainer's 1970 Flag Day piece, with its nude dancers wearing American flags as bibs; erotic display was in another galaxy). Now, on some fronts, breaking taboos is more likely to afford sensual pleasure in the name of verisimilitude (Nicole Kidman on Broadway in the buff). Too, audiences aren't easily shocked. Even The New York Times can link the words "tasteful" and "urination" (Jack Anderson reviewing a concert at the Kitchen by Jennifer Lacey and Erin Cornell). John Jasperse's rhythmic dance of genitals and breasts (Excessories)—witty, taboo-challenging, and conceptually provocative—has received rave notices here and abroad.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><B><A HREF="http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0036/jowitt.shtml" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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