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 Post subject: Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2001 4:09 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy</B><P>Since the days when he was one of the founders of the Judson Church movement of post-modern choreographers, David Gordon has been one of the key innovators in the world of dance. With his Pick Up Performance Company he has been a regular visitor to Dance Umbrella. <P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details.<P>Here is a link to a <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000407.html" TARGET=_blank><B><BR>recent review of the programme</B></A> they will bring this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2001 1:08 am 
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WHO: PICK UP PERFORMANCE COMPANY<BR>WHEN: TUE 6 - WED 7 NOV<BR>WHERE: THE PLACE ROBIN HOWARD DANCE THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7387 0031<P><B>DAVID GORDON: TALKING DANCE</B><P>David Gordon finds it an "interesting and daunting situation" to be presenting work in Britain again after a sixteen-year hiatus. But the 65 year-old New Yorker is pretty confident that he and the members of his Pick Up Performance Company will be able to make a bridge to the Brits. Their means of achieving this is the unwieldily-titled FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy, subtitled 'an evening of new and used duets (broadly defined).'<P>As a founding member of Judson Dance Theatre and the improvsational Grand Union, two of America's most seminal (and now-defunct) dance entities, Gordon possesses one of the best post-modern pedigrees going. He founded Pick Up three decades ago. The company features his British-born wife Valda Setterfield, one of Merce Cunningham's longest-term and more idiosyncratic dancers.<P>Although FAMILYetcetera is literally composed of two pieces, Gordon says, "It's really a seamless bunch of stuff." He's timed the first part, For the Love of Rehearsal, at about 21 and a half minutes long. It's set to Bach cello pieces. Then the music stops, and the speaking begins. "The talking in FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy starts soon as the first piece is over," Gordon says, "and then various other sections of talking and dance come tumbling out."<P>He voices his theories on verbalisation in dance. "Text for me is frequently like music, and words like steps. The kind of phrasing one uses in dance is echoed in the kinds of phrasing one makes with words. Whereas dance steps, for most audiences, remain steps, here the words add up and make reference to things you know. They're accompanying, and disruptive; they stop the flow of something and introduce something else."<P>One of the things Gordon and co are using words to spotlight is the crazy-making habits of domestic friction. "The text is about the relationships between pairs of people and involves incidents between them - those things that are gnawed at over and over again. You can be content and happy to be partners, but you do wish he wouldn't leave the wet towel on the counter. So you pick it up and put it away. At various times you discuss the possibility of him putting it somehwhere else. At other times you blow your top. You can't believe you spend so much time reacting to something like this." Gordon ackowledges that, for most audience members, the recognisability factor is high. "People have come over to the dancers afterwards and said, It's as if you've had a tape recorder in my home!"<P>Gordon is also typically, mischievously clever in the way he underlines the mechancis of performance. "Dialogues between pairs of people have been reorganised, in some instances, for the group. For each of these texts there are scripts. The people onstage are passing 8' by 10' pieces of paper and hand mikes. What happens is, in some of the rehearsals everybody doesn't have everything memorised. If you are paying attention you see this and say, Keep that piece of paper! Transfer it from that hand to this hand, or give it to so-and-so." He sums it up neatly: "You can't ignore the metaphors: passing language, passing responsibilty, sending messages."<P>All of this passing activity is paralleled by Gordon's preoccupation with "the deconstruction of clothing in the fashion world - seams or underwear on the outside, shoulder pads revealed." In both cases, paper or clothing, Gordon is simultaneously indicating that "this is magic, and this is how the magic happens. Can we look at the construction of something," he asks rhetorically, "and still be seduced by it?"<P>We talk, indirectly, about keeping an open mind. I bring up the subject of chairs, the sight of which in a dance piece has raised my hackles. But not any more, not after having seen some of Gordon and Steve Paxton's chair-based contributions to White Oak Dance Project's PASTForward. Gordon directed this big, handsome hunk of living post-modern dance history. "I have the same bias against ladders and umbrellas," he says. "I hope I never see either one of those onstage again. On the other hand, if somebody did something wonderful with one or the other, I could be persuaded."<P><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

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This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2001 7:49 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<B>Pick Up Performance Company</B><BR>By Judith Mackrell in The Guardian (3* out of 5)<P><BR>It's not often that Dance Umbrella programmes a show about marriage - least of all middle-aged marriage. But central to David Gordon's Family$Death@Art.COMedy is a slow duet, performed by Gordon and his long-time partner Valda Setterfield, that presents a tender portrait of all the accommodations that make up a long relationship. <BR>The body language is stark but eloquent. The two sixtysomething dancers open the duet in an embrace, but then slip away to eye each other up. Their gaze has the critical detachment of strangers - is this really how the person I fell in love with turned out?<P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,3604,589489,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:50 am 
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Review in The Observer (please scroll down the article)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>David Gordon's Family$Death@Art.COMedy also involves text, shared at random among the members of his Pick Up Performance Company. The joint recital is deadpan, a litany of lines from family rows. The dance segments are pieces of a jigsaw, slotting together to make a portrait of an enduring marriage. Like Forsythe, Gordon is investigating time and memory. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,591191,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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 Post subject: Re: Pick Up Performance Company - FAMILY$DEATH@ART.COMedy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:05 am 
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Review in the Times (please scroll down to see it).<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>David Gordon was one of the key players on the 1960s New York independent scene, but judging from the less-than-full audience at The Place on Wednesday night, his reputation in Britain is on the wane. It’s a shame there weren’t more people there, if only to see the extraordinary duet between himself and his lifelong partner Valda Setterfield, both now well into their sixties. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-2001391804,00.html" TARGET=_blank> <B> MORE </B> </A>


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