X (2010)

Concept and Direction: Melinda Ring
Choreography: Melinda Ring in collaboration with the performers
Performance: Talya Epstein, Maggie Jones, Molly Lieber, Marilyn Maywald, and Antonietta Vicario
Sculpture and Sound: Martin Kersels
Lighting designer: Roderick Murray
Sound Assistance: Kimberly Hamlin and Enrico D. Wey
Video: Howard Silver

St. Mark's Church, May 13—15, 2010
Commissioned by Danspace Project

1 hour

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Inspired by Dan Graham's 1984 film "Rock My Religion", in which he tries to make a connection between the ecstatic dances of groups like the Shakers and rock and roll, "X" is an evening-length dance that channels these two energies, the ecstatic and the raw. Visual artist Martin Kersels transforms St. Mark’s Church from above by suspending an enormous kinetic chandelier (or as he calls it, “a charm”) above it’s center, and with his crew turns this legendarily live space into a giant sound machine, punctuating the silence that accompanies most of the dance.

“Not that 'X' was a constant, full-throttle aerobic showcase. Instead it was a shaggy beast, held together by the thin formal threads of its circular structure, which steered its participants around the stage center, around each other, and around to the beginning cluster (its title refers not to the drug favored by the trance dancers of rave culture, but to “the center”). Despite all that, the show hangs in my mind’s eye now as a swagger, rough around the edges and wandering all over. Really it was a sprawling mess, like the Velvet Underground frenzy 'Sister Ray' that is distortion and repetition and improvisation and chaotic simultaneous riffs. Rhythms formed and dissipated.” - Mary Love Hodges, Brooklyn Rail

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