now is now (merrygogo): Varicolored plastic bags like leaf piles. The performers do a kid-style collapse into them from time to time. Moments of kidness, play:
plastic bags over their faces, breathing the film into their mouths, a parent’s nightmare, the potential suffocation; slowly they turn to one another and then reverse the action, blowing out in quick competitive puffs—
Taylor hits his forehead with an open palm; Anna strikes his back with an open palm; Taylor strikes his forehead again and again; Anna strikes his back again and again; Taylor walks and strikes, speeding up, Anna racing to keep impossibly close behind him, hands pattering flat and fast and concentrated on his back—
dress-up with the bags: tied around the waist, tucked like a sash—
Anna sprints around the stage space faster and faster, holding a bag above her head that catches the air and inflates as she runs, maybe she’ll take off.
I know Anna and Taylor, the performers, but haven’t seen them in more than a year. Their bodies have changed, their faces and presences; some of this change is located only in my mind, a fault of memory. Today, in this dance, a particular shape Anna’s body makes sticks with me: she bends at the waist until her hips are the highest point, the front of her body rests easily/unmoving on the ground as she slides into a split, it’s sort of the way certain animals stretch themselves (paws forward and rear end in the air) and then slide into a position of rest on the ground.
Destabilizer (Abby Zbikowski): The performers bind their feet together with duct tape, and the double-headed-snake shapes they make—I could have watched that all night, mesmerized. The frantic intensity of the costume changes. A sense of urgency throughout. At the end, a long dark, then the performers emerge in yet another set of costumes, emojis-cum-overalls, and twist their faces to match, emojis-cum-faces. That landed oddly with me as the ending point, although I haven’t been able to articulate why.
Damn, though, there was a particular repeated moment of movement—from a squat, the dancer flings her legs forward, dropping in miniature free-fall to the stage surface in a staff pose. This was the appeal of the entire piece, built on moments of shock, movements so visceral you feel them in your own body as you watch. Punctuated by gasp after gasp from the audience.
now is now & Destabilizer, Maree ReMalia (merrygogo) & Abby Zbikowski, part of Gibney Dance's doubleplus series, NYC.