Mar 5, 2007

What it means to hit your head against the wall [LINK]

The Village Voice's Deborah Jowitt reminds us:

Watching William Forsythe's Three Atmospheric Studies ... situates me as close to a battlefield as I ever want to be. Except for a woman (Jone San Martin) who speaks the single sentence, "This is composition one, in which my son was arrested," the first section of this tremendously disturbing piece could depict any war anywhere....

The only sounds are of bodies thudding against the floor and the grunts and whimpers of the performers as they rush around -- entangling, grasping, falling, rising -- and their escalating breathing. At first, their stop-and-start groupings are almost sculptural, and, as if in a film being wound both forward and back, the act of pressing an enemy to the floor can also look like helping a comrade to rise. The same acts recur, gaining in speed. Many times, the man (Ander Zabala) who represents the son is pinioned between two others. Is this really an arrest or just an arrested moment?

Forsythe's company is based in both Dresden and Frankfurt. His dancers come from eight different countries. As an American working in Europe, he must experience strongly the shame that many here feel for the catastrophic war begun by the U.S. ...

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