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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Brendan Connelly and Scotty Heron at JACK

In Appalachian Spring Break, composer Brendan Connelly and performance artist Scotty Heron collaborate at JACK for an hour of mayhem triggered--let us not say "inspired"--by the collaboration of Martha Graham and Aaron Copland on Graham's Appalachian Spring. Here, with each artist continually invading the other's territory, the worlds of music and dance collide--let us not say "merge" or "overlap"--again and again.

The sonic assault starts right away. From on high, the pair train clarinets down upon the defenseless audience in a shrill and gurgly fanfare. You might notice that handlettered sheets of cardboard subtly bear the word "fanfare," a nod to Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man as well as a sign of the DIY spirit of the production. Music making employs stand-alone instruments (clarinets, kazoos), a snaggle of increasingly snaggled, endangered electronics and the whimsy of amplified stuff simply hitting or being dragged along the floor. Movement involves, among other things, whippet-thin Heron risking life while, strapped into pointe shoes, he laboriously climbs to the top of a stack of tables, or channeling Graham's iconic Lamentation, tense angles stretching the fabric of what a U Michigan arts blogger once called "The Infamous Giant Sock Thing."

No. Not Scotty Heron this time.
The real Martha Graham performs Lamentation.
(photo: Herta Moselsio)

Heron's centerpiece work as Graham is a thing of mystery and scrupulously contained drama, gorgeous in its own way.

Appalachian Spring Break concludes with two performances tonight: 8pm and 10:30 pm. For information and tickets, click here.

505 1/2 Waverly Avenue (between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue), Brooklyn

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