New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women and girls. Click
here to see a sample of our products and a list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance
at its best.
back to Flash Reviews
Flash Review 1, 11-13: Palpable Acuity
Forti Fills the Danspace
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse
NEW YORK -- Simone Forti filled the
Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church on Thursday night with a quality that is
hard to describe. It's something I once called "palpable acuity." Can you learn
this? I doubt it. But perhaps, after a lifetime of mindfulness, it can be acquired.
Each of her phrases is made immediately and just to her liking. In her first improvisation,
"Logomotion," she asks for three words from the audience. Since we are sitting
in the middle of dance history, Jackson McLow says, "Cold." Someone else adds,
"Threw" (or "Through?"). Lastly, "Falcon." So Forti makes up poems from aleatoric
actions and she sort of tells little stories while she's at it. Memories, recollections
of the heat and the hawk. Dreams and fears and curious whatnots. The lighting
instruments hum as she pauses and the hum becomes a world, as Carol Mullins tweaks
a level or two to accommodate the dance.
The score of "Illuminations," Forti's
thirty-year-old ongoing collaboration with minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine,
features an incessant hammering of piano keys that becomes the tintinnabulation
of bells. A little nauseating in its intensity, actually. Gut-churning. (Palestine
didn't attend the performance due to fear of flying, so the score was a recording
made last week in Brussels.) Forti circles and circles; she is open to everything,
making us aware of what there is to be open to. Too much, most of the time in
real life, but Forti makes order of plenitude. She escapes the habits of her body;
she becomes her hologram. (A 1977 hologram of Forti called "Angel," accompanied
by Palestine's "Schlongo!!!daLUVdrone," was on display before the performance.)
Returning to the center as the piano
dwindles, Forti's articulate body crawls, a human flak suit. She stands swaying,
arms idly flinging. I realize I won't be able to remember accurately anything
that just happened. Forti is an ephemeral trickster who defies capture on the
A third improv, this one a frisky
and somewhat ribald collaborative version of "Logomotion" with Danny Lepkoff,
is less successful. Still it is a pleasure to be allowed to watch these two compadres
enjoy each other.
P.S. Since Mina
Chremos gave her wonderful Forti reminiscences last Friday, permit me to add
one of my own as a postscript.
In 1978, I was taking Modern Dance
101 at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Patricia White, my beloved first
teacher and a person with great foresight, brought Simone in as a guest artist
for a week. At the time, my ideas about dance focused on wearing shiny unitards
and kicking my legs as high as possible. All we did for a week in Simone's workshop
was walk in a circle, around and around and around the perimeter of the dance
studio. (She's still walking in that circle, meditatively now.) I believe she
talked a little about holograms.
Twenty years or so later, at the
Judson's memorial performance for Bob Dunn, a man who touched my dancing life
deeply, I approached Simone and cheekily told her that I had learned nothing that
week in 1978 (explaining of course that that was because her ideas were so far
ahead of my limited understanding). We shared a hearty chuckle, for she swore
she had never heard of Wright State University and could remember nothing about
back to Flash Reviews