Friday, August 11, 2006

In Do Ne Sia

Last night was perhaps the biggest thrill I have experience since coming to Watermill. As a side project, I have been working with director Christoph Schletz, film makers Lovis Drengler and Mary Eve Nadeau, to create a performance that showcases dancer Illenk Gentille. Our late evenings and spare moments during the day for the past week have been devoted to creating a performance that combines video, traditional Indonesian dance and costume as a means of simply seeing what happens when we put these components together. And, I’m happy to say that the experiment yielded some rather interesting results; results that could show promise of becoming a solid performance if given the chance to working with them more.

Last night’s run was divided into 5 parts, alternating between video and dance segments. I chose to dress Illenk in variations on the traditional costume he typically wears, but with more interesting fabrics, more unusual combinations of forms, and something that might somehow work with the props he dances with. His handmade red fan, a striking object, had caught my eye long ago and I have wanted to use it with a costume for weeks now. Like Karl’s fan keeps him cool and put a femininely royal curve against the trusted geometry of his wardrobe, Illenk’s fan seemed to be the perfect counterpoint to the pleats and rectangles I drew into the plan for his costumes.

The positive feedback I received on the costumes was encouraging and inspiring. I want to make more. A bigger thrill, however, came from seeing the costumes after the performance. If you ask my studio mates in graduate school, they will tell you of the countless times I demanded that the garments I make be “Lived with, sweat on, washed and re-washed, spilled on…” (Right Rachel? Right Anna?) and last night gave me exactly what I asked for. The collars were perfectly drenched in the dancer’s sweat. The sarongs were adequately wrinkled and mangled after being tossed on the floor during quick costume changes. It was all much more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

While the color and backdrop of these performance stills aren’t fabulous, they capture a bit of what happened. Would love to hear your thoughts.


Anonymous patrick said...

looks awesome

2:20 PM  

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