When discussing the contours of this blog, Brenda Way, Artistic Director of ODC/Dance, told me that she would be interested in short posts that she called “Mind Moves.” Thus, I hereby launch…Mind Moves with Mind Moves I, a brief reflection on Tere O’Connor’s Long Run.
I mention Long Run in a forthcoming interview with Margaret Jenkins in In Dance (Jan/Feb 2020 issue), and then talk about it in relation to the concept of abstraction in a forthcoming ODC Dance Stories blog post. In conversation about the work with my friend, poet Denise Leto, I realized that in both soon-to-be-published instances I neglect to say something very important about the work: it was the most articulate, satisfying, thought-provoking, soul-massaging, rhythmically sensitive dancing…the most compared to what you might ask? I’m not comparing it to anything. I’m just informing you that I could not take my eyes off the stage for the full 70 minutes without intermission.
Lately, my dance writing hasn’t left much room for gushing. I try to offer critical context, to ask questions of the dance and my experience of it, to steer clear of evaluative criticism, to leave the loved it/hated it, good/bad stuff for private conversations over lattes. Everything is so subjective — How can I be sure if a choreographic work I find marvelous isn’t marvelous just because I was feeling a deep sense of well-being over that superior bowl of Pho I consumed before the show? How can I be sure that my dissatisfaction with a particular dancer isn’t merely a result of some association my unconscious is making with a schoolyard bully from my past? Because I can’t be sure, I turn to description and asking questions; I focus on the practice of dancing and the making of dances; I babble on and on about myself, whom I know best but not even that well.
And yet. And yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how marvelous I found Long Run to be.