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Friday, January 27, 2017

Dunlop NDH performance of Bill Coleman’s Dollhouse

We went to the opening night performance at the Dunlop, presented in partnership with New Dance Horizons, in which Gordon Monahan (sound artist) collaborated with the reknown dancer, Bill Coleman, and used a variety of dance, electronic, mechanical, chemical, material, and costume elements to construct a one hour event of slapstick struggle. William got a chair, which perhaps was a good thing even though he couldn't always see what was happening on the floor such as when Coleman was getting his  feet stuck to glue panels. Margaret and I sat on mats on the floor which gave us a great view of most things, except perhaps the contents of the strange vibrating pots that William thought contained dry ice. However, I was pretty stiff by ten minutes in; can't do that sort of thing like I used to. I liked when Coleman's entanglements evolved into tap dancing, reminding us of his serious dance skills, and the control that is behind choreographed chaos. This  helped me to define him as a person with a goal which in turn made the slapstick problems have dramatic purpose. Without him having any characteristics, the comedy was purely formal and couldn't sustain dramatic interest. Crazy stuff. 

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