FLATLAND EPIPHANY (This is not a dance review)

If ever words expressed their inefficiency for engaging with the language of dance, never was such an experience so profoundly compelling as that of Vanessa Justice’s “FLATLAND” at Joyce SoHo. Stark, strange, and multi-presentational it epitomizes the phenomenological split

between the inexhaustible experience of ever-evolving dance and the brooding limitations of modernist-capitalist print media.

Words have not lost their meaning, and they still function; it’s not that words are useless, but they are the least we have at our disposal in network society to employ in our multi-presentational responses. I can tweet my facepic from the lobby right after seeing the show—and subsequent facepics over time as resonances develop and they always do. I can post video remixes of “The Lady in the Radiator” from “Eraserhead” on YouTube, and perform on my facebook page (and hers) with relevant quotes from Edmund Burke’s “On the Sublime,” links, and media intended to complement the effect of her mediations. Or I can add delicious links from review-related searches with the tag “Vanessa Justice.” If I have only words, I can choreograph them in Flash, and imbue this animation with a feeling her artistic expression made me feel. At the very least, I can publish a tag cloud from Wordle composed of words from any number of related sources, which I tweeted and posted already: http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/1248294/vanessa_justice.

These, of course, are just some ideas that I hope some artists will consider and that I am encouraging young aspiring dance “writers” to consider, to brainstorm, and to cultivate. Perhaps I won’t be the one to usher in this new now next phase of citizen journalism in the dance world, but it’s coming. Open-text choreography like this makes it easier to see the way.

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