Sunday, September 28, 2008

On the 9/14 Event

Sarah White, September 14, 2008.

In this second event, with the intention of exposing the site to the observer, movement became both the activity of the observer and the thing being observed. Dancers began in the upland area, of the site on one of the three trails intersecting the site from Flatbush Avenue to the shoreline. Each dancer was placed in a separate location along the middle trail. Observers passed by the dancers witnessing them react to, and exist inside of the landscape both aesthetically and sensorially. In the distance between encounters with dancers, the vegetation and nature of the trail revealed itself even more, not only as the frame around the performers but also as the frame around the observer.

Along the trails, the history of the area is less obvious, lying far beneath the visible ground and unreachable by tidal water. For the observer, although covered by green pathways, the pollution of the site was foreshadowed to an extent by the dancers’ white hazmat suits. The obvious connotations of toxicity created a kind of odd, eerie and subtly dramatic contrast to the serenity of the trail’s vegetative canopy.

Biba Bell. September 14, 2008.

Eventually, the dancers moved away from their individual positions and gradually coalesced as a group, making their way from the narrowness of the trail to the openness of the shore. There, their movements began to change as the physical limitations of the trail gave way to the more spatially open, unobstructed and windy coastline. Their approach built in a manner reflective of an incoming tide. Their motion became less metered and it exploded impulsively, unchallenged by the spatial restrictions of the trail. They proceeded forward, curling, balancing, collapsing, their dance eventually leading them into the water …

Biba Bell, Rebecca Brooks, Tamara Riewe and Sarah White. September 14, 2008.

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