Without reading any of the press for tEEth’s normal and happy – hell, we didn’t even get programs tonight – I can blissfully blog based entirely on my experience and what I saw over the heads of the people sitting in front of me (note to self, Winningstad Theater is not ideal for viewing contemporary dance).
I have read several of the blog posts about Andrew Dickson’s Sell Out, which I didn’t get to see, and I kind of have to laugh when I wonder to myself “how could dance artists sell out?” Seriously. There is no money to be made in dance. No fame and fortune. I suppose you could be a back-up dancer for Beyonce and/or strip, but isn’t selling out what you do to make fat bank, make your parents proud, and become a family guy, all rolled into one? In dance, it seems to me that “selling out” is more often “transitioning into other career paths”. When you do stumble upon the rare dance artist who people are willing to throw money at, like the famous and fortunate Barishnikov, he goes and does something incredibly philanthropic like build an arts center in post-9/11 Manhattan. Damned dance artists.
Why do they do it? Someone blogged about Misha’s humility as a dancer. All dancers are humble. They are someone else’s paint, for god’s sake. And again – no fame, no fortune, even if you do dance until you die. I don’t know why I’m going on and on. I was about to go off on a tangent about Homer Avila, who had cancer and finally got health insurance when he started dancing for an opera company. He died in 2004, at age 49, after having his leg amputated in 2001. He performed on a Friday and died on a Sunday.
Forgive my gravity here.
Writing about dance is ridiculous. I’m not going to give you a book report about “what happened”. You have to experience it for yourself. And thankfully, people turned out in droves to see (and hear and experience) teeth for themselves. Whether they liked it or not, it happened. I doubt that there was anyone who did not feel strongly one way or another about the work – which, in my book, is a signal of success. (For validation by the rich and famous, by the way, Misha said at the lecture that he wants to be moved by a work of art, whether positively or negatively.)
I don’t know what motivates Angelle and Phillip and their nameless (remember, no programs) performers and collaborators to soldier on, but I’m grateful that they do. For the record, I loved it. Thank you tEEth.
Posted by Nancy Ellis