Saturday, May 28, 2005

willing to be weird

After the X Games I ran off to Shinchon to the 24th International Modern Dance Festival to catch an Israeli choreographer, Yasmeen Godder, in Two Playful Pink. This was among the most strange modern dance performances I've seen in my life. If I were at Jacob's Pillow I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have seemed so bizarre.

The fact that I was seeing this in Korea was so unsettling in just the way I needed it to be. My days have become far too routine and I've started to feel like I'm getting bored of vanilla. Two Playful Pink was just the right flavor for my silly Saturday.

These two ladies romped around for an hour and fifteen minutes. They were so willing to be weird in front of all these people. For this place, that often feels like I'm stuck in the middle of (and being strangled by) the bible belt, it was pleasantly avant-garde. In the last scene they were wearing bras that looked like huge breasts. Then they took of the bras, but hid their nudity by holding their skirts in their teeth, thus exposing their black briefs. The whole performance ended with the two women like this running in a circle after one another for about 5 minutes. This piece made ballet look like wallpaper--there just to look pretty--and that this was the real deal, real art, fearless, and completely weird for all the right reasons (or no reason at all). The choreography included facial expressions and somewhat sexual, but not quite, gestures that were repeated throughout the three scenes. The performers changed costumes on stage while monitors showed brief video clips of imagery that complemented the scenes.

It was so refreshing. I wanted to run home immediately and be strange too. I wanted to make whatever I felt like making, wearing whatever I wanted. I started to think about incorporating more strangeness into my daily performances (the little thing called teaching I do on the side here). When did I become so normal? When did I become so afraid to just be as nuts as I want to? When did I start to make it feel okay to suppress all the insanity and wild creativity that made me feel like me? I was reminded that no matter what, I am a foreigner here. I'm already totally strange, I might as well run with it. And so begins my dance. I wonder just how willing I will be to be weird.

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