The Williamsburg Art neXus space is no more but WAX is alive and well. If it weren't for an invitation from ACFDance to a WAXworks program, I might not have known... (So, hey, I live in the SF Bay Area, not NY! And, no, contrary to popular belief, I'm not running for mayor of the Big Apple.)
Gone with the WAX building are three of the four partners who co-founded the organization and built an incredible space out of nothing. Only Marisa Beatty remains now as Executive Director, albeit assisted by others including Jaclyn Moynahan as WAXworks Production Director, carrying the flag of the now-virtual organization that borrows and rents space for its programs, one of which was a WAXworks event at University Settlement in the Lower East Side Sunday evening.
Yes, I went to see Adrienne Celeste Fadjo's "Running On Time" but I was also intrigued by what to expect. I'm one of those faithful individuals notorious for sitting through hours and hours of incomprehensible/difficile/arduous/misguided/deficient (pick your adjective) art be it in a studio or a gallery just in case a special talent does emerge. Finding one new gem in the rough, untouched by fame and untainted by media hype, makes it all worth it. Without a venue that allows failure, there would not be experimentation and without experimentation, there would not be innovation. And that is why WAXworks, a program run on a first-come first-served basis, is important -- how else will new talent be discovered?
And so it was Sunday night, with four dance-choreography artists and one musical artist, all giving what they had in a glorious couple hours of unadulterated art. Maybe because I was wearing my suit (I had just come from a prior meeting) or maybe it was simply because of the raw talent on display, I felt more like a talent agent than an arts promoter -- I found myself thinking who among these bunch of individuals whose careers could be launched with a good business plan.
Astrid Von Ussar, Rachel McKinstry and Naomi Luppescu produced some intriguing and thought-provoking works. Dan Costello is a musician that dares to write for people. But it was Fadjo's work I came to see and it was her who did not disappoint me, with an ensemble work called "Running on Time" that is reminiscent of Christopher Bruce's "Meeting Point," a seminal work created for the San Francisco festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. That Fadjo had not seen any of Bruce's works is eerie. That Fadjo did not dance in her own piece was also telling. I signed up that night to help her company create a business plan...
WAX, like most arts organizations, is constantly in need of funds but unlike other dance organizations however, it supports other artists, allowing their works to be seen. Go to www.wax205.com