Friday, November 13, 2009



Deciding to join my friend, the ever innovative Joanna Haigood to go see a Tere O’Conner performance at DTW, induced a kind of self-mutilation which often permeates the type of work that comes to that venue. I got there early to purchase my ticket and was thrilled to learn that the program was only 1 hour and without intermission - all performances now-a-days should be that (or 70 min.).

It is hard for me to describe the work - never having seen his particular “style” before, but it ended up being similar to other work of that nature, and I'm not sure what that means. Before the piece started, I noticed Tere had gotten a Guggenheim grant on a quick glance at the program. I asked Joanna why both she and he had received those grants, and not me. She quickly said “Well, did you ever apply?”. No, I hadn’t. Hummm....
So, as I tried to engage in the piece the first thought that came to my mind was that I could see why Joanna got the Guggenheim, but I could not see why Tere did. My next thought was how do you pronounced his name? Do you say “Tear” like in ripping something? Or “Terrrrrr” like a dog growling only not with a “G”? I know Joanna said Terry - but then why does he spell it Tere and not Terry or Teri or Terie or something easy for people who don’t know him?

Anyway, more minutes into the work there still was little dance vocabulary being executed by the 5 undancer-like-looking dancers. Movement there was - a good thing for a dance concert - just not dance vocabulary. Even so, I immediately liked the mind behind the work, because of the element of “insanity” ever-present in it, combined with pure non-sequiturism. He is nuts I decided and that is not a bad thing - not at all. The musical collage was dissonant yet at times engaging, or not, and varied.

The two men were noticeable un-masculine, yet moved with an innately wonderful plasticity that I liked.

Memorable moments: a manege of back somersaults, frenetic whirling-dervish spinning on half-point while looking up to pointed Yoga-arms/clasped hands (well, the blond guy looked up, the other one straight is hard to look up, spinning or not, because it requires risk and a leap of faith); and some other things that I can’t remember. Also notable, the blond guy was given the most movement vocabulary which included some visceral partnering with the girl in red who early on in the piece executed Martha Graham-like Jetes around the stage.

Even though it was not torture to be sitting in the audience, the best moment of the evening was when the piece ended - I was so happy!

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