What? You can't tell this is a picture of Jarvis Cocker? Are you blind? Or just a philistine? Because ever since I became a Very Important Participant in the Whitney Biennial, I try to put an arty spin on even the most mundane activities—like snapping a pic of a world-famous musician who's come to accompany us in our dance. So whereas you non-art folk see this image as a mistake . . . perhaps taken by an incompetent who needs a phone with a better camera, we sensitive artiste types see it as a look deep inside Jarvis's soul.
Apparently it's blurry in there.
So far the Michael Clark residency has gotten a pretty good review from the Post, a pan from the New York Times (fuck you, Gia Kourlas, though thanks for using a photo of my group of dancers) and a grudging thumbs up from the Financial Times. My fave line of the FT review: "At one point, 49 civilians amassed on stage to perform simple gestures before assembling in rows for the Clark dancers to glide between. Even regimented, these recruits seemed individual. And as they stampeded towards an exit, the slap of their feet suggested a joyful wilfulness that Who’s Zoo? otherwise lacked."
"Stampeded!" Yes, we do stampede! You try running really, really fast—barefoot—while keeping your arms glued to your side and your belly from bouncing all over the place. It's not easy! The second week of this show has been the most fun, because Michael Clark keeps adding all these new bits and doesn't seem to mind if they come off as chaotic. Throwing Jarvis Cocker and Relaxed Muscle into the mix adds a whole new layer of amazing disorganization. Cocker comes out to play midway through the show, covered in face paint, wearing a day-glo headband. One of the other dancers believes he's wearing lifts in his shoes and is actually quite short. I disagree. We may end up in a slap fight over this. Dancers are tempermental.
Luckily, Jarvis doesn't play live with the non-dancer's big number because it's hard enough to remember all these simple-seeming steps without the unknown that comes with a live number. The real dancers can handle a little improv—we'd wind up colliding like bumper cars.
My friend Scott and his boyfriend came to the dress rehearsal yesterday and Scott introduced me to Charles Atlas, who's doing the lighting (there are warnings posted not to attend if you're prone to seizures because the strobe might set you off!). I'd been too shy to introduce myself, so that was excellent. My Beastanetics buddies were so sweet they've nearly convinced my yoga-loving friend Heather to join.
I've been such a shut-in that being surrounded by, and working with, so many other people has been a very eye-opening experience, in a good way. I'm starting to think I might not mind a "real" job because the life of a freelance writer is so solitary it can get a little lonely. It's also reassuring to learn that I haven't lost all my social skills and I'm not nearly the misanthrope I sometimes think I am. Big lessons learned!