"Choreography is not to constrain movement into a set pattern, it is to provide a cradle for movement to find its own patterns." -- Michael KliënIn this case, the "cradle" European conceptual choreographer Michael Kliën has set up, with dramaturgical instigation from Steve Valk, resides in a raw and rather chilly arts space--grab some tea while you're there--where the audience can circulate and watch several people vigorously drawing, altering and erasing chalk doodles on standing blackboards in what Kliën calls "a series of precisely rehearsed choreographic instructions and procedures."
Said instructions and procedures were, to my eye, as invisible as the dog who inspired the name of this arts space. But no matter. It was occasionally interesting, even hypnotic, to witness the rise and obliteration of forceful abstractions at the hands of Kliën's dancers--if they are to be called that--who variously hail from the worlds of theater, poetry, physics, academia and Occupy activism. It was like watching Hindu deities--the kind of Hindu deities that might show up in seriously droopy jeans--continuously building and destroying the universe. But with chalk. And bowls of water. And a mop to clean up spills. And arm chairs for when one or another of them might need a break.
This might be a good point, though, to express my general frustration with precious, impenetrable, head-hurting language like: "These [those instructions and procedures] involve developing and exchanging insights and individual expressions in analogue and codified forms, weaving relations into a concentrated collective dance of minds" and "Choreography for Blackboards outlines a vision of dance that not exclusively understands itself as an art form, but as a constituting principle, a technology of the self at the edges of modern consciousness."
Please explain. I do not understand. And I don't think I'm alone.
Choreography for Blackboards continues tonight at 8pm and tomorrow at 6pm. For information and tickets, click here.
The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street (between Smith and Court Streets), Brooklyn
For information on PS 122's COIL Festival performances, which run through January 29 at various locations, click here.