Reflections From The Moderator

I got hit with a touch of the flu Tuesday evening and felt the chills and shivers of the sickness much of Wednesday but I had promised to moderate my first Open Performance that evening and since I couldn’t find a replacement I dragged my ass to 138 South Oxford. Luckily I could walk from my home to the space within 15 mins. I brought a big flask of grapefruit juice to help sustain me.

A sweet performance space upstairs in what I believe to be a nursing home of sorts. The building probably dating back to the early part of the last century, nestled within a densely treelined street. This is what I love about New York and Brooklyn, that art can appear in the most unexpected places. Quietly existing. Performance is everywhere you just have to look and notice.

The sliding french doors that led to the intimate space were an extension of a wall with glass panes on the upper half. The room was done in blonde wood with a small slightly raised stage. Nothing of what I expected…. it had a clean simple elegance to it.

Meeting each of the three artists (Effie Bowen, Ayako Kato, Sophia Cleary), chatting briefly about their work & questions and soon after people began drifting in. Each of the works were very different yet strong and fascinating in their individuality. Each left memories for me and the audience that resonated and revealed, in their own language, a vulnerability and humanity. The discussions afterwards were rich, thoughtful and articulate. Later that night soaking in a hot bath to regain some warmth I remembered….

An arched body, head back, arms out to side and hands slowly moving as if in some silent request.

A brief vivid reading from a small paperback, becoming the characters in that strange reality.

Watching through french doors, as she lifted him straight up from below his waist, and the voice of Dinah Washington began to sing “As long as he needs me” as she carried him through the doors.

My surprise when one of the artists told me she had gotten a call the day before that there was an open spot, and flew from Chicago to do this one gig, and her joy at the end of experiencing the very different work of the two other artists on the program.

Even in my condition, it was well worth going… another night in brooklyn… brought to you by Movement Research…

–David Thomson, Movement Research Artist-In-Residence 2011, Open Performance Moderator 11/2/11

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