Much to catch up on! This past Monday I experienced an event rather worthy of note if you ask me… which you are, because you’re here to read nothing but my opinion, soo you don’t have much of a choice…
July 26, 2010 marked a full year since the death of Merce Cunningham. At the studios I entered to find a bunch of deliberately places roses to honor the date. Word of mouth sent me (and about 12 of my purchase comrades) to an open field at the bottom of the west coast of manhattan for an evening performance honoring Merce. It was apparently the “event of the summer”. Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones, Susan Marshall, Jon Kinzel and Faye Driscoll all presented whatever work they pleased, in Merce’s honor. The same music was played for each performer - each group peacefully beginning just after the next. The relationship of music to dance was very much in the style of Merce. They used chance principles during the performance. Music and dance were two separate entities, only brought together during the moment of the live performance. What an experience.
Stunning, no? These are three members of Bill T. Jones’ Company. The stage was raised over a bed of perfectly groomed grass. The scene’s backdrop was downtown manhattan across from the sloshing Hudson River. The dancers were lit by the setting sun and the audience was able to enjoy the passing wind from all directions around the stage. The show was free - very low key. Important dance figures could be spotted all across the lawn. There was an understood respect that existed within the crowd. We all knew why we were there. No announcer needed to inform anyone of anything. The beautiful music - performed live by David Eggar (cello), Geoff (Guitar), and Kotchy (Laptop) - was the first to enter the performance space. It provided a perfect feeling for the beautiful evening. The entire experience was a bit surreal. Speaking of which… there should be no reason for me to explain what was going on here…
In conclusion to his dancers finishing off the program, Bill T. Jones himself shed his white linen over-shirt, straw fedora and stepped on the stage. His chiseled, experienced body gave me chills as it crossed the space. His journey was brief, but once he was through, we looked to his three trusted company member who had moved to the opposite corner he entered on. They stood on the ground below, framing the edge of the stage, attentively watching their beloved leader. Bill crossed to them and stood for a moment. There was a short conversational exchange. What I made out was: “catch me”. And they did.
Bill T was then let down after the audience gasped in unison and erupted into applause. He whisked around to collect his dropped belongings, then proceeded to dash off through the crowd, away from the park all together. His presence feels otherworldly… He creates this peaceful, contemplative energy wherever he goes. You can feel that energy encompassing the space in which he resides. Then he dashes off into the night like a fairy! What a man… Not to mention his gorgeous appearance! Breathtaking. honestly.
The other pieces were certainly interesting as well, I am just drawn to his work specifically. Sigh. The whole evening was a surprise gem in the treasure chest of my summer experience! I am thrilled I was able to witness such an event.
The performers take their bows.
How lucky I am!