Salmon fillets on the table. The sun’s orange grove. Hard wood. Fish looks beautiful. They say. Moths have dreams too. I lived here once. For the song. My son was 6 months old when I moved. He is with me today. Scraping salmon skins. With an ulu. He is 12 now. Emily says. Sometimes the fish comes from what my family catches. The floor creaks. We all come back. So do the Salmon. People want to connect. They are happy telling stories. All the rivers run together. Her grandmother gave her a gift.
A well frosted pink cake sat in the corner of the space and was (thankfully) cut and served to willing audience members. "Let them eat cake!" I assume Mad King Thomas was making an insightful comparison to our modern day administration's disregard for the country's needs (as determined by popular vote) to dear old Marie Antoinette's fateful mistake. The piece, "Cover your Head and Kiss your Ass Goodbye," was political. How do I know? Well, there were the heads of controversial political figures on stage (in a row actually…ready to line dance), there were classic plastic toy army figurines arranged atop playground sand (I'm thinking desert, I'm thinking Middle East), there was talk of Cowboys, there was an interrogation/torture scene, and last but not least Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."
Ok, I'll try off the top of my head. Pamela first caught my attention by the careful visual choice of the performers: the well coiffed heads the all black berlinesque cabaret singer outfits and the obvious choice to confront the audience with the cultivated stalking linear strides. The silliness(gum chewing, glove or mitten exchanging, provocative poses) began as funny and then took on a shape of their own. They created their own story. I'm not quite sure where the dance phrase came in except I loved it and it may have provided physical relief. I definitely was impressed by the commitment to the rather rigid and considered movement. I would like to see more. Oh yeah, and rehearsal direct. ha ha ha . seriously.
What was, in 9x22, a rigorous, strict and stringent (silent) exploration of … "nothing?" is now playful and concise, hilariously paced and completed with an inherent crinkly sound score and fabulous green costumes. (I saw Peter Pan and a turban where my friends saw frogs.)
[We want to know where the title came from. Colin Rusch moved to New York before I could understand the reference.]
I remember: a figure standing over, hanging down, (the posture of exhaustion, the posture of anticipatory stretching), head on railing, face obscured by blond wig. Slowly dripping down the wall to the point where head is by feet and underwear - really pink double pink tights - are peeking out the bottom of the white dress. Heels, lipstick, a little blazer, she stands up. We are treated to a pleasantly faked "welcome ladies and gentlemen" smile. A number of facial expressions talk to us. Welcome welcome welcome. Eyebrow
Sarah twice removed but still in her baby skeleton predicting the now as her grandmother.
In a paper trail of age old stories laced with pesticides and lofty promises for perfect improvement, there is a younger generation picking up the pieces. And on older generation with time out of their hands.
The nostalgia of the family farm. Dancing under grandmas magical weeping willow. On an unfertilized lawn.
They felt a panic to make improvements on a good idea that never needed it?
I caught the Windfarm performance on March 27, 2007 at Rogue Buddha Gallery. Since I wrote this nearly two weeks after the event, what follows are some thoughts on what stuck with me and how they made a lasting impression.
Mad King Thomas (Theresa Madaus, Tara King, Monica Thomas)
I must admit I'd already seen a version of Mad King Thomas' "Cover Your Head and Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" once before at Bryant-Lake Bowl's 9x22, so I have more information floating around in my brain about this piece because of the double exposure. The Windfarm adaptation was significantly longer with extended sections, a new ending, more text and a video monitor with a blinking eye off to one side of the space. When did that blinking eye change from blue to brown or vice-versa?
What I wrote to you was a little rough around the edges. I noticed I wrote "Sole was placed on the floor" when I meant to write soil. I neglected to write that I also enjoyed your music and your choice to include tapes and your handling of them in the work. The music that accompanied your score, was that an 11 count phrase?
I'd like to add to yesterdays comments about your piece that the work for me was a meditation on the value of people and place and experiences preserved through objects that cannot be replaced or bought.
I watched Sarah Baumert perform One for Resolve/Sarah at the Rogue Buddha on 4.24.07. I also choreographed it. I also made cabbage rolls for the audience the night before the show with Sarah, at her apartment.
I remember sitting in bed with mono with my computer on my lap, emailing back and forth with Sarah about this solo, about windmills, and about a broken windmill at her grandmother's farm, specifically. Sarah told me a heartbreaking story about life, love, work, commitment, natural forces, adversity, fields, and death. Then Sarah called her grandma. Sarah's grandma told Sarah a heartbreaking story about life, love, work, commitment, natural forces, adversity, fields, and death. We recorded this story. We decided we wanted to fix the windmill. We asked if we could come to Nebraska, to the farm.
Entering the Rogue Buddha there is a performer dressed in girly clothing (a pink dress and pink tights, heels), bent over with her butt facing out from a 4 foot wall that blocks a downward staircase. After the audience enters the performer's torso rises and a performance continues. Not necessarily in this order, I remember: The platform above the staircase covered with precious clutter and a bottle of booze. I remember all those things, including a lot of fragile content, being placed in a bucket and moved. Emily standing in her costume with a friendly face, ready to entertain the guests at the party. I remember her bending over the wall to the staircase bringing up something to share with the audience. I remember her packing precious belongings in the bucket and then moving them center stage to unpack them in a new location. I remember Emily peeling off a blond wig that also meant she shed the character from a different time. I remember a counted phrase that was an odd number-- not an 8. I remember that phrase (including a turnout and then and gentle movement ending with a jumping up and down that was very percussive)
I walked into the Rogue Buddha Gallery, and it was instant nostalgia. So reminiscent of the 1960's and 70's: intimate and low tech, street front theater, a mostly young audience in knit caps. Feeling like the oldest person in the room, I walked carefully around Emily, who was hanging over in a blond wig at the edge of the performing area. It seemed so natural to have her there. I found the bathroom in the back, clean, cheerful, and plenty of toilet paper. When I returned, she was still hanging there and I did not even think to wonder why. Just like back then, when I took harrowing journeys down into New York Subways, up onto ominously deserted streets, then up some more, several flights of rickety steps, into someone's warm and dimly lighted loft space where anything could happen, even as I caught my breath.