– review – review

Project Artaud Theater, April 24-May 10, 2008

Presented by ODC Theater, San Francisco

A three part Festival featuring the work of Ledoh, Jo Kreiter/Flyaway Productions, Sara Shelton Mann and Miguel Gutierrez

Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People

"Retrospective Exhibitionist/Difficult Bodies" (2005)

Created in collaboration with Arna Azrieli, Michelle Boule, Abby Crain. Music by U2, Interpol, kate Bush, Destiny’s Child and Miguel Gutierrez.

A conversation with Miguel Gutierrez

In this dipticych there is a solo and a trio.

The pieces don’t look like each other, it’s the same way you look at paintings, how they speak to each other, and how they create their own relationship.

I wasn’t even aware I was part of this festival until about two weeks ago. I know Rob (Bailis) was trying to get my work out there (to California). I don’t think the pieces have a conventional relationship to politics.

I’m dealing with charged bodies, I’m dealing with ideas of time that constitute a sense of self, real and perceived.

I’m dealing with identity.

The trio is straight-up dance. I play the music live, the vocals loop with a guitar pedal. The expression “difficult bodies” is directed by dance teachers at girls who aren’t going to advance (professionally) . “Difficult bodies” is confusing, the body conforms too, the dance body gets excited by that idea. I’m abstracting that idea outwards. The piece is about the body in crisis, about excess, too much, the body always wants too much, a hyper-full body.

In my solo I was intrigued by being at the beginning of something but passing a look at at the past. The idea of my body on display, and how it is the primary expression as a performer, to put yourself out in this way. Making yourself available to others’ perception of you. In my life, how I had been doing that. Reconcile with the present, to dance, to being 36, the love of dance is more difficult than ever before. It feels different, it’s confusing.

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Mr. Simpson has a BA in Journalism from the University of Southern California and worked as an advertising writer in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue a different passion: dance. He danced professionally in New York and Boston before founding a community-based modern dance company, Small City Dance Project, in Newburyport, MA. His fiction has appeared in literary journals and anthologies. He was a teaching fellow at Smith College, where he received his MFA in choreography. While living in the Bay Area for 15 years, he wrote about dance for the San Francisco Chronicle and other periodicals. In 2005, he was a NEA Fellow at the Dance Critics Institute, American Dance Festival. For, he reviews dance, theatre and film. He moved to Santa Fe in October, 2008. He writes for "Pasatiempo," the Arts magazine of the "Santa Fe New Mexican."