Wednesday, June 11, 2008

dance-offs and the deluge

So I had two full days down in Philadelphia with Melanie Stewart and her hard-core crew of Philly dancers, working on this Ballroom Blitz/Time to Dance piece we're putting together for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.

You know you're on to something good when two and a half hours fly by and you spend most of the time laughing and every fifteen minutes or so the room gets taut and focused, all eyes on one thing, all mouths and eyes in the room open.

Yesterday we played a long-form improv game, basically. We did a dance competition with all of them assuming a competitor persona and when they got voted out they would cross the room and become a different judge persona. They had to create and perform a Dance of Desire or a Dance of Defeat, they had to pair up and do a duet using the text of Tom Paine's Rights of Man or Paul Aster's City of Glass, then they had to learn an insane combination dreamt up and taught by three of the judges.

All the way through, the "judges" in the room, which is anyone and everyone not competing kept babbling at them, evaluating and berating them with nonsense.

I kept telling them that we needed to see "the box". Walsh needed to see "the ingredients". We asked them to show us "the strawberry", since it's all about the strawberry. Just non-helpful bullshit to get them nodding and confused.

Bethanny's character Alice ended up beating out Les's character Dex for the Big Prize.

Hilarious stuff.

We're trying to go below the parody, since that's easy, and work around the ideas of judgement.

Who are we allowing to judge us and do we accept the judgement?

What are we competing for, exactly?

What is it to sit in judgement of an individual?

Questions like that.

We're showing something down in Philadelphia on the 19th and on Saturday we're doing an open workshop thing. My cousin's getting married out in Queens on Friday and I'm supposed to be leading a workshop thing with Melanie 10 AM Saturday morning.

That's going to go over well, I'm sure.

Big real estate meeting this afternoon with some uptown bigwigs and a LIT website task force gathering at the Dentons tonight. Trying to get a lot of things jump-started so we can take next week off and laze about on the beach out on Long Island with my family in from St. Louis.

Uncle John and Aunt Nan are getting ready to do their Dance of the Cuties with my sister's kids, Elizabeth, Nana and Ellie, collectively known as the Schwartz Family Players.

Huge storm last night might have chased the heat away for awhile, don't know, going to go stand on the roof and find out.

Careful out there, now.


Ann said...

Two things:

1) You have a roof? Well, I *know* you have a roof, I've seen it. Keeps the rain out and everything. can go up there? Why weren't we drinking on the roof, Clancy? In my mind, I'm picturing this immaculate terrace...shh, don't disturb me.

2) How much do you love City of Glass?

John said...

Yeah, roof. It's alarmed(I tell it not to be alarmed, but it doesn't listen) and sometimes it's randomly propped open.

Amazing view of where the towers were to the south and the Empire State Building, Chrysler building, etc. up north.

And of course the naked chick across the way.

Haven't actually started City of Glass yet. Brought it down to Philly and just used it in the middle of this rehearsal as random text.

What I've heard sounds great, though.

Ann said...

Well, I'm glad you and 'City of Glass' are getting along well enough to travel together.

For over three years now, Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" has lived in my suitcase and gone *everywhere* with me. I've even read a few chapters. But I don't really feel as though I know the book well enough to go all the way...

Next time, roof. I like views of buildings and naked chicks as much as anybody.

Rose said...

Dirty dirty girl.

Ann said...

You know what they say, Rose...

Good girls go to Heaven. Dirty girls go to John Clancy's roof.

How's tricks, Rosie Real?

Anonymous said...

Damn skippy Bethany's character won!

John said...

There are girls up there?


What the hell am I doing at this keyboard?

(SFX of laptop clattering to the floor, receding footsteps, door slam. A silence and then a distant shriek (surprised naked girl) sound of a face slapped and an aggrieved "Hmm!" (same naked girl) silence, door opening slowly, dejected footsteps trudging back to laptop, laptop being lifted back onto desk, a rueful sigh.)

Ain't no damned girls up there.

John said...

And that's got to be Bethany herself acting all anonymous.

Bethany is a weird name to type.

I'm just saying.