I was meant to be flying home on Friday, to arrive back in the UK in time for class at NSCD which starts again on Monday, but my flight was canceled due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. The next available flight back to the UK is on April 23rd. So I get an extra week in NYC.
This of course is fine by me, I am staying with my sister and have a lot of friends here, so it somewhat of a bonus, but I am slightly worried about missing a whole week of school - because of the physical nature of dance its not as though I can catch up the work, once you miss a technique class thats it, its gone for ever. But I will of course take classes here.
Since my last blog I have been to see the musical 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson', about America's seventh President and the Broadway play 'God of Carnage'. Both were hilariously funny yet the under pinning themes were quite complex and dark somehow. In both performances there were great performances and attention to detail which of course made it believable.
In contrast to this I went, for a second time, to the showing of works in progress at the Judson Church, hoping for a better showing than the week before. Unfortunately I expected too much. All the pieces were trying too hard to be 'different' (in my opinion). The more work I see and the longer I dance the more obvious it is when someone is trying to convey something and when somebody is simply conveying it by completely embodying it. Its a very hard thing to define in words but its very clear on stage.
After the Judson Church showing I went to a contact improvisation jam. I haven't danced contact for a while. Its not a part of the NSCD curriculum and opportunities to dance contact in Leeds are not that many. But I really urge all dance students to go and find them selves a contact jam at some point in their training. It teaches you so much about you body and is really a good balance against the traditional techniques generally taught in schools.
I also went back to the MOMA, to take another look at Marina Abramović's exhibition but also the work of an artist that I didn't mention in the last blog, William Kentridge. I hadn't heard of him before, but my sister's history of art homework was to go and look at his exhibition at the MOMA (students at Parson's get free entrance to the MOMA...I definitely think that free entrance in to art galleries is a policy that UK universities could adopt...). I was absolutely blown away by his work. He uses a wide range of mediums from film to linoleum prints. He work also ranges to dark political statements to light hearted films about the procrastination involved in making art. I would recommend looking him up.
Another 'event' I went to was a lecture on the visual art of Trisha Brown's visual art called 'Talking About the Work', which was held at Dance Theater Workshop as part of the Trisha Brown Dance Company's fortieth anniversary celebrations. I was really looking forward to the lecture, assuming it would be that - a lecture, to learn about her work, but unfortunately it was more of an unstructured debate that veered away from Trisha Brown's actual work. Also, one of the women on the panel seemed to feel superior, both in intellect and knowledge about Brown's work. I found this unfortunate and distracting. But, regardless of all of that they showed footage of Trisha Brown dancing - seeing 'Water motor' on a large screen was magical. And after all the waffle and talk it brought home the fact that simply its all about the dancing. Which is why Trisha Brown is such an important part of dance history.
So hopefully this extra week in NYC will give me chance to see and experience some more stuff, but its also time work - I am going to attempt to get my mind and body out of holiday mode, so it is not too much of a shock when I return to NSCD. Missing the first week back means that I missed the hand in date for my creative portfolio, and more importantly the introduction to our next project, 'collaborative arts'. This is a five week process in which, under the guidance of the wonderful Luis Lara Malcavaris, in which we are given a 'free' rein to create work/installations/site specific work in collaboration with other artists and disciplines. So actually, as much as I heart NYC, I am looking forward to getting back and getting to work.