Point of Purchase by Jennifer Arave

Choreographers’ Evening 2015

Fire Drill “Novelty Shots: A Political Fantasy (excerpt)

Begins:

Eight dancers run onto, across and all over the stage area.

“Yeah”

See me!

A lot of talking

Very theatrical

Jumps, Songs, High Pitches

Butt slapping,

Acrobatics

Delivering into the light

Talking to the audience

Undressing

Reaching down the pants

Adamantly “No”-ing

Imitation

Belly button finding,

Moving forward and backwards

Stripping

Pants down and running

Shirt up

Singing

Waving

Whistling

Angst-y screams and moans

Laughing

Falling

Rolling

Number recitation

(a school bell rings)

Ell the performers clear the space.

: End

Following the performance an audience behind me murmurs to his friend,

“I like the guy with his hands down his pants, he was funny.”

Friend, “Yeah”

When I first saw this piece (without referencing notes) I had no idea to what this highly conceptual art-making team of Fire Drill was referencing or attempting to say?  Months later, while listening to Emily and Bill, the creative minds behind it all present their work (and thus explained-ish), on two separate occasions, their impetus for making work, I learned that they are interested in attempting to manipulate what the audience reactions are or how the audience is focusing, or to F**k with how the audience watches. To quote their website* and the choreographers evening program, “…they create performance works that challenge contemporary modes of spectatorship and engagement…” and “exploring how internet culture and the attention economy affect the way we watch live performance.”

The American consumer audience is well trained when presented with the illusion that choices actually exist, must be made, or for that fact, matter.

This confusion arises as an array of short choreographic memes**, as was the case in this piece.


Fire Drill Emily Gastineau and Bill Mullany
Novelty Shots: A Political Fantasy
Choreographers’ Evening
Walker Arts Center
November 28th, 2015
By Jennifer Arave

*http://cargocollective.com/firedrill/About

**Meme: “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”

 

 

 

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