Posted inPerformance

Miguel Gutierrez’s “myendlesslove” at Abrons Arts Center

Miguel Gutierrez’s “myendlesslove” is, as its title suggests, about love — but not just love in a classic, romantic sense. That is there, but in 50 minutes, Gutierrez also touches on love making (aka sex), love of self, and love of youth. He pulls all these themes out of a multi-faceted, if somewhat disjointed, piece whose variations of medium and tone are refreshing.

Posted inArt

How Writing Is Like Performance

PORTLAND, Oregon —Portland’s literary prowess is well known. Home to the truly amazing Powell’s bookstore, a number of high caliber small presses, and host to many readings, the city is a great place for people who love words. I traveled there early this month to check out another kink in this phenomenon: the intersection of text and performance.

Posted inArt

Are You or Aren’t You An Opera? A Conversation with Joseph Keckler

Have you ever met a Minotaur, believed you could draw with your voice, try to cut out your voice box, spoken to demons on the phone, or taken a few too many shrooms? Perhaps not, but you can experience all of the above at I am an Opera, a satirical one-person musical show written, composed, and performed by Joseph Keckler, who was awarded a month-long residency that premiered at Dixon Place on New York City’s Lower East Side for the month of April.

Posted inArt

Making Documentaries More Real

In an email, a friend of mine mentioned a show taking place at the Kitchen next week: The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, created by the filmmaker Sam Green, with live music by indie rockers Yo La Tengo. The subject matter seemed like solid geeky/arty fare, but what stood out to me in the event description was the phrase “live documentary,” in quotes. Given the subject matter and the indie music, the first thing to come to mind when guessing what that might mean were the live, touring shows created in the past couple of years by the public radio programs RadioLab and This American Life. Then again, it was being presented at the Kitchen, a venue that has a history of presenting fairly aggressive work spanning visual, performance, and literary arts.

Posted inArt

Failure, Success, and Community in Contemporary Performance

Instead of writing a review or a recap of the shows I’ve seen or a critical essay about the tone of the APAP festivals in New York this year, I’m going to describe my night on Tuesday evening and some of what was going through my head during those hours. Because somehow, I think it might do a better job of capturing some the dynamics of this year’s festivals than analysis or plain description. I’m probably going to go on a bit too long and try to cover too much ground, but I am leading to a point, or two. So, you know. Do what you need to do. Take it with a grain of salt. Whatever.

Posted inArt

Outsider Culture Writ Large

BERKELEY, California — As the grand finale for SFMoMA’s exhibition, Stage Presence, which delved into the theatrical of contemporary art, Rashaad Newsome performed “Shade Compositions” (2005) in Haas Atrium, just inside the museum’s entrance, on October 4. “Shade Compositions” has been an ongoing performance that began with documentation of particular noises and gestures associated with and performed by African-American women. The original performers were entirely African-American women, but Newsome has since expanded his subject matter to cast a different conversation about outsider culture writ large.