Kristin Van Loon writes about Megan Mayer

I feel full. I feel behind. I admire my performance comrades for kicking it out week after week. But I must say uncle.

I totes dig criticismexchange.wordpress.com. I respect the 48 hour deadline. The whole deal. Here, I list what I’ve seen that I didn’t pull off a timely writing about:

Moheb: The accordion projection surface!

Charles: The masterful interdigitation of 2001!

MKT: Ken Burns is the perfect target.

Eban: The inferred Dancebums party rehearsed into one of the best unisons (aisle) of the season.

FireDrill: You’re rocking it…keep going.

LVW, Kenna, SuperGroup, Schlichting/Thorson at/on Young Dance: a delight.

Here, I cheat, and on a sunny Sunday morning, way overdue, timed by a load of laundry, I ask my imagination what sweetly haunts it and the answer is:
“24 Hours from Tulsa” by Megan Mayer at “ART/ROAD/MOVIE” at Bryant Lake Bowl, June 5, 2014

PART 1: THE MOVIE:
“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees is perfection. Whenever I drop the needle on it in my apartment or catch a snatch of it on the radio, in a mall or a bar, I stop dead in my tracks and listen. What keeps me agog is the layering of the parts. Often my imagination mutes all but the hi-hat. Or I track just the horn section (waiting patiently for their 4 descending notes). Or I jizz for the bridge or I marvel at the creaminess of sibling harmony throughout.

Megan tosses plates. Down onto the pavement. I’m like a dog going mad for the piercingly high-pitched clank of cup and saucer contemplating the suicidal jump from her fingertips. My heart thumps 12 times and then a terrifically loud crash. Again, wait-crash. Wait wait crash. Intentionality ranges from toss to drop to slip to throw. Like Ana Mendieta and Carl Andre on the balcony. “Stayin’ Alive” hi-hat.

PART 2: THE LIVE PART:
My seat affords a rare view Megan’s live entrance from the back door of the room. An inconvenient choice for the performer (ah, the cueing!). But that’s what I’ve come to expect from Megan Mayer — a spare-no-detail exquisiteness.

It’s all so soft and spare and tentative. My heart thumps between each nameable action:
—Climb on the stage and cling to the corner.

—Oh oh oh: slipping the knot at her chin, removing the familiar head scarf, revealing the glamor mullet.

—The episodic visual reveal of sparkle (the dress beneath the drab coat) (the 1st metallic fringe curtain birthed from a bag) (the 2nd metallic fringe curtain birthed from a bag) is synonymous with the punctuation of saucer shatter in my ear during the movie.

—God bless you Megan Mayer. You’re such a fucking pro: just how your character reeks of doubt but YOU have worked out every detail of how to hang these curtains. I believe you have a piece of contingency tape waiting on the rail which you use. I simultaneously have total confidence in you as a creator/performer and total anxiety for the disabling stage fright of the woman you depict.

—Oo la la: you almost set the ladder down. But then you hover its legs 2 inches from the floor as you slip on your white pumps.

—You pace behind gold fringe.

—At the “start”, 3/4 of the way through the piece, you part the curtains to smile, face us, and approach the mic. Virtuosically simultaneous continuity and discontinuity.

—You are a genius curator of B Pop Star deep cuts/alternate takes. I suspect credited consultant Greg Waletski had a hand in this.

Such a good trick: lip syncing some spoken remarks before the singing kicks in. It amplified the illusion. You are spot-on throughout. I’m convinced.
The epaulement of shoulders and arms, cheekbones and eyebrows, weight shifts and tiny twists. This is such a subtle and nuanced and sophisticated dance.

writing by Kristin Van Loon
about
Megan Mayer’s
“24 Hours from Tulsa”
as part of ART/ROAD/MOVIE
at Bryant Lake Bowl Theater
June 4-5, 2014

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