This was what I wore to watch the dance performance that I was talking about in my last post. So, contemporary dance really isn't my thing, but we were willing to give it a chance (despite having seen a somewhat underwhelming preview video on Youtube); we figured it'd be better in person...and who could argue with free tickets? Worst case scenario, it's terrible, but we can just leave early, right?
Well...the universe threw a wrench in our plans, because we got FRONT ROW SEATS. Three feet away from the stage which wasn't raised, making it all the more convenient for the performers to keep an eye on us and make sure we weren't leaving. Angie was talking about if it was to anything else, how amazing would these seats have been?! I almost felt guilty about depriving someone these awesome front-row seats who would've actually appreciated it...but then it started and suddenly I felt like a martyr. I don't want to compare myself to Jesus but actually I kind of do.
This show was like a highlights reel of everything that makes people dismiss contemporary dance as a pretentious wankfest. It started off with a guy playing the flute. One single note for ten minutes straight. I'll just let that sink in for a moment... By this point all us volunteers were reduced to silent shaking laughing masses. Of course it's immature, but then it happens to you. Nothing to do but close your eyes and wait for it to end. That was the longest ten minutes of my life. The 90 minutes that followed was also (not so coincidentally?) the longest 90 minutes of my life. Then a woman came out and started singing what I later found out (re: wiki'd) to be 14th century French church music. She was actually quite good, but then it's 20 minutes later and she's basically repeated the same bit a dozen times. It wouldn't be a tragedy if I never have to hear it again.
Several large chunks of the performance took place in complete silence and the only sounds you heard were shuffling feet (they were wearing brightly-colored tennis shoes, what?) and labored breathing. I suppose there's something to be admired about skeletal simplicity, but I wasn't really in the right mindset to appreciate it, especially not when somebody's phone went off in the middle of that silence. Not even the culprit did anything about it, probably to avoid the humiliation, so we got to hear a lovely ringtone for a very, very long 20 seconds. And I'm not even going to go into the random gratuitous full-frontal male nudity.
There was also a line of dirt spanning the stage that the dancers spent the show kicking around and rolling in. I won't even pretend to understand the symbolism behind it; in fact, I'm pretty sure that the entire performance was absolutely drenched with symbolism and meaning, but either it was too obscure or I was too obtuse, but everything went completely over my head. Even though it truly was the most awful thing I've ever had the misfortune of seeing and sitting through, I don't necessarily regret going; I mean at least now I'm unequivocally certain that contemporary dance will never be 'my thing.' And whatever, I can definitely say that I've crossed that off my bucket list. See, I'm always finding the silver lining!
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