What I Think I Witness in the Dances of Dolo McComb

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What I Think I Witness in the Dances of Dolo McComb
by Samantha Johns

All the things that start
only start so that they can deliver you somewhere else.

To begin, we get a mouth.
We get a mouth made of limbs paired with a dropsical voice.
Piles of hair and velvet crushed just right for dangled movements to catch light.
Everything is saying, come to my world, we have spent enough time in that boring one of yours.

We are in a western movie. No, we are in the 1970s. Outer space.
No, we are moving past a prism of light… we are the prism of light.
We are a roadside diner wondering when you’ll stay long enough to care.
A tumble weed. A banana peal. Lipstick.
We want you here.

Dolo says it best, “Mostly it’s happening all around forever in every direction.” //cathedral\\ [the collective made up of Kimberly Lesik, Dolo McComb and Scott Stafford] have formed a practice that is queerly happening all around forever in every direction. It is hypnotic and genuinely addictive.

It is hypnotic and genuinely addictive.
It is hypnotic and genuinely addictive.
It is hypnotic and genuinely addictive.

It makes me want to call Stevie Nicks and run around in royal purples counting how many joints make up the human body. I wanna learn to meditate right and drop acid and then take a nap… in a fluff of clouds… with cherubs.
Or something.

Dolo has this great magic trick where she starts a gesture only to take it over with something else. This is my favorite technique of all times, you are always left with something better. Better than what? Better than what your mind could fill in. The old switcheroo. Hands shoot up in the air and the body falls flat to the ground. Little feet patter across stage, another lunges, someone talks, someone kneels, a perfect triangle has formed into a synchronized dance.

//cathedral\\’s composition of bodies on stage is sublime. The three of them know how to own a space both together and alone. I will put you here and I will hold back there and then you can join us after a while. Moving at angles across space has never looked so sexy. Gestures that add up to a meaning if you want to place it on them.
Fellatio. Catholicism. A blooming iris.
Hair, hair, hair.

The aesthetic design of the whole piece feels like how when you see that gold jewelry is coming back into fashion. Again. But better this time. You know, thinner lines, geometric shapes. Layered on top of this contemporary hipness is some form of slap-stick that can only stem from antiqued Chaplin films. A fellow about town feeling.

This is a dance/performance group that knows how to use the face as well as the limbs. Dolo specifically has eyes and mouth performing in tandem to her body. Her eyes looking out and up always searching to meet us somewhere, and the expression lures you in further. Her face is working something out, her face is taking you to a place that is more than where we are now. Wide eyes enter an expanse, look around and show you how they know just what to do next. While you are following one thing, out pops another. A flawless sleight of hand, if you will.

Something about //cathedral\\’s work screams ethereal while simultaneously not soaking itself in flourishes of dainty. It is both soft and powerful.

The dance feels like it is asking, what can you drape over the body?
The answer is somewhere in between …nothing. ever.
What can you drape over the body?
The wind, a void, just try it.

I am always sad when a Dolo piece ends.
I immediately feel nostalgic for that head-wobble-left-to-right-body-bouncing-up-and-down-finger-waving-no-no-no-hair-hidden-face gesture that feels like a golden stamp for the whole piece.

Thank you again.

Tyrannysaurus Wench [part 1/3]
Walker Art Center – Choreographer’s Evening
November 28, 2015

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