public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:12 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 155
JOHN JASPERSE COMPANY (USA)

WHAT: GIANT EMPTY

WHEN: WED 22 – THU 23 OCT

WHERE: THE PLACE - ROBIN HOWARD DANCE THEATRE

TICKETS: 020 7387 0031

‘John Jasperse is a postmodern
wizard: a deadpan comedian, a
choreographer who transforms
seemingly mundane tasks into
fascinating dance phrases’
Gia Kourlas, Time Out New York

click here for details


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:15 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/interviews/2003/images/johnj1.jpg" alt="" />

Fully Wholly - An Interview with John Jasperse
by Donald Hutera

New Yorker John Jasperse’s 'Giant Empty' is full of indelible stage pictures. The stage is partly defined by two lines of thin white rope, hung at a right angle to each other. At the start these pristine ropes mysteriously uncoil, as the bars from which they’re suspended majestically rise.Wooden blocks, resembling an urban skyline, cut across the space on a diagonal. A female dancer walks on them like a giantess gingerly treading on stepping stones. The soundtrack veers from opera to sawn-off industrial sound to the whirr of a helicopter. She and three others – another woman and two men, including Miguel Gutierrez [in the original cast] and Jasperse himself – use this as a cue to wield blade-like arms. Legs soon enter the choreographic equation. Limbs hook, slice and swoop as the sound intensifies.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: London, England
John Jasperse Company
Giant Empty
The Place
21-22 Oct 2003

Plenty of people are baffled by contemporary dance. They think it’s abstruse and arty, all unfathomable statements, twisted bodies and the odd twisted mind. And sometimes they’re right.

The John Jasperse Company might seem a bit like that, in this piece Giant Empty at least. A ‘project’ for four dancers, which sets out to deal with the dichotomies of inside/outside, self/other, intimacy/distance, this is clearly a work that has been thought about intensely. Almost from the outset the soundtrack is made up of unnerving electronic grumblings, metallic screeching and scraping and ear piercing frequencies. It tells us we’re on ‘difficult’ territory.

The most memorable section of the work is when Jasperse and Steven Fetherhuff emerge naked, on all fours to perform a silent pas de derriere, that is an explicit duet firmly focused on the boys’ bare behinds.

The audience can’t help but giggle. Granted, this is partly due to the traditionally adolescent attitudes of the British towards nudity, male nudity especially. But it’s also to do with the particularly British allergy to people taking themselves too seriously (just ask David Blaine). And it feels like this company is taking itself very seriously indeed.

The scene is faintly ridiculous. I suppose the idea is that we are all ultimately just flesh and bodily functions (and arseholes a lot of the time), but one naked bottom sliding down another man’s leg, then squashed up to his face, then tentatively brushing against the other’s butt cheeks is slightly reminiscent of dogs sniffing each other in the park.

However, you shouldn’t think that’s all this evening was about. Things start out fairly innocuously. The stage is set with wooden blocks resembling a city skyline and ropes hang from the ceiling. A female dancer uses the building blocks as stepping stones, testing her balance across the taut urban heights, then rearranging them – man in control of his domain.

Three more dancers enter, making splicing, circular strokes. In duos they nudge each other into lunges, rotate partners and generally do the things that dancers do.

But things soon change. Suddenly one woman appears shocked and stunned, frozen in awe or terror in reaction to some seismic shift. The whole pace changes, simple steps are acted out in an age, our men lock horns and one woman becomes entranced in a pattern of hand-washing gestures, her stylised ablutions copied by another dancer on the other side of the rope divide. One woman crashes to the floor rolling over the wooden skyline, which comes tumbling down. The piece was premiered in May 2001 but there’s plenty of room for a post-9/11 interpretation

From our initial orderly scene we now have one of confusion, chaos, despair and possibility. When the boundaries collapse, therein, according to Jasperse, lies the ‘giant empty’.

The dancers wrap themselves up in layers of clothes, creating bulbous bodies, then scramble across the floor before performing some kind of violent yoga postures. And there’s a nice moment when a man who has been standing stock-still in the middle of this chaos is revealed to be balancing on the one remaining building block. His teetering form demonstrates very much the precarious position of anyone attempting to be unorthodox in the pursuit of serious art. Is it madness? Is it genius? Is it profound? Is it pointless? In reality they’re pretty subjective questions.

This is a bold piece of dancemaking, but personally it left me cold. If you want to see nakedness and politics then Lia Rodriguez’ Such Stuff As We Are Made Of is a much more effective piece of work.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: London, England
One more thing, I couldn't make it to the post-show discussion on Tuesday, so if anyone heard what Jasperse had to say about the work I'd be really interested.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The shadow of 9/11 fails to redeem the clichés
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews John Jasperse at The Place (also Stephen Petronio).

September 11, 2001 may prove as catalytic an event for American modern dance as Hiroshima for Japanese butoh or the Berlin Wall for German tanztheater. But audiences will also find their own eyes changed.

I had just seen Stephen Petronio's emotional 9/11 piece City of Twist when I went to see his younger American compatriot John Jasperse, and it is remarkable what suggestiveness does to the perception. Although Jasperse made his Giant Empty in 2001 in Germany, the work looked so legible as a response to September 11 that I had to shake myself to realise afterwards that this was a fantasy on my part.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I have seen John Jasperse Company twice in the past 2 months, the first time being the other work they are touring, “Just Two Dancers”. I enjoy his choreography and in particular his attention to ports de bras, which gives his work a distinctive look. Visuals, space and the way that dancers interact seem important to him and he rings the changes in movement in both these works. “Giant Empty” retained my interest for nearly all its length and I did find the male nude duet intriguing, if a little unsettling, but hey – I’m English.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: John Jasperse Company
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 3:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
John Jasperse
By Jann Parry for The Observer

John Jasperse, an American who works a lot in Europe, made his Dance Umbrella debut last week. Giant Empty is a serious work in which desolation becomes indistinguishable from dullness. Look at the date, 2001, and the little blocks of wood piled up in a skyscraper cityscape. One dancer knocks them down; another starts to build them up.

Not a lot happens in between. Four traumatised people explore things they can do with parts of the body, clothed and unclothed.

click for more

***************************

John Jasperse Company
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

Also from New York, the John Jasperse Company made an Umbrella debut at The Place with Giant Empty, an impenetrable, lumpen event with industrial music to set your brain on edge. It included (in silence) a protracted coupling of two stark-naked men, during which one sat on the other’s face. In relief, a titter ran through the audience — those who hadn’t already walked out.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group