Hello, all—I’m jumping into Day 2 of HARDCORPS, the MR Spring Festival 2010 as your festival blogger. My mission is to see as many events as possible (i.e. write them into my day planner and actually go to them). Festivals in New York are always a bit fraught for me. On the one hand—wow! So many amazing events all packed into four days. And on the other—shit! More things for me read about and regret missing. As festival blogger I will in part brag about the fact that I got my ass to all these shows, but I also hope to inspire you to get your ass to some things. The curators are really making it easy on you, since all of the events involve some combination of drinks, food, karaoke, and hot bodies.

Last night (Thursday) I saw the Free Radicals program at Abrons Art Center. The show started outside with a piece by Enrico Wey. He and his dancers arranged us so we were standing in two rows in the amphitheater. A photographer lurked, snapping photos of the audience, and thus begun the “did the piece start?” game. It had, and quite beautifully, with dancers weaving in and out of sidewalk and street traffic, all making their way to the bottom of the amphitheater where they stared, as a group, back at the audience. (Ten shorter and friendlier Marinas.) I’m not sure if Enrico was commenting on “The Artist is Present,” but the artist and and co were certainly present and they demanded that we have our $10 entry in hand. There was something sort of pathetic about the group of us clutching our $10 bills—it made me very aware of the terms of transaction and the accompanying expectations—here we all are, about to spend two hours in a dark theater in vague but distant hopes of a transformative experience. This seemed fitting to me. Aren’t the best performance events those that make me reflect on who I am and what I’m doing? I think that festivals, more then making us stressed out about seeing things, have the potential to make us question why and for whom work is being made.

I will report back with more later today.

Lydia Bell is a dance artist, teacher, and administrator based in Ridgewood, Queens. lydiabell.wordpress.com

  • June 4th, 2010
  • Lydia Bell


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