Gia Kourlas reviewed the festival I was in a couple of weeks ago ---
What is it about a dancer in a window that makes heads snap on a balmy summer evening? Perhaps, in a city deprived of a red-light district, it has something to do with the tawdry allure of a peep show.
On Monday there were plenty of heads turned toward the storefront of Chashama, the organization that transforms vacant properties into art spaces. At Oasis 2007, a festival of modern dance in which choreographers present short works twice every weekday, audience members can sit comfortably in the space’s Manhattan theater facing 42nd Street, between Second and Third Avenues, or watch from the sidewalk.
Ultimately, Oasis offers more for a gawking stranger than for a dance aficionado. To judge by many of the performances on Monday, this is the sort of choreography that looks better — but only slightly — through the glare of glass.
The first program actually began on the sidewalk with a preshow by the Modern Dance Awareness Society. Two women wearing red dresses, with blue buckets on their heads, shook strangers’ hands. It was a rather tedious example of wacky artistic behavior for public consumption.
There were other similar examples, including Malleable Dance Theater’s interactive work “Play the Dance!,” in which audience members and passersby were encouraged to request a dance by calling a performer’s cellphone. (Numbers were posted on the window.) Had it been better organized, it might have passed for children’s theater. All but Kristi Spessard’s strangely evocative solo “Underbriar,” set to music by Richard Strauss and John Luther Adams, were forgettable.
... The article.
look she called me forgettable! Well, not me personally .... everyone, except for her friend Kristi. And yes, they really are friends .. Gia even glowingly mentioned Kristi's solo again in the article when she reviewed the other storefront festival that was going on ...
Kristi was quite pleasant, the solo was lovely. But really, the amount of information Gia has (and gives) about the solo later in the article betrays her "neutral" critic stand. She clearly knows more about that piece than anything else she saw, and its the kind of information that without program notes, it would take more than two viewings to garner. Its sad that Gia is so transparent.
I'm very disappointed too that she failed to mention my friend Michelle who performed the opening day of Oasis. Michelle is a dancer with CP who does a lot of mixed ability and experimental work. She was the quintessential downtown-y figure there that day, mixing theater and dance and noise, making an illusion of her crutches, the whole deal. Really, Gia, get off your classical high horse and recognize something new and different emerging! You don't have to like it, just mention it!
Well, now I've officially survived performing with Gia Kourlas in the audience.
You may have won this battle Gia, but we'll meet again ....
Works of art are of an infinite solitariness, and nothing is less likely to bring us near to them than criticism. Only love can apprehend and hold them, and can be just towards them. - [Rainer Maria Rilke, "Briefe an einen jungen Dichter"]