Bring up the volume, forget Cage

22 Aug

Among current trends in dance one can identify a compulsive attraction to electric guitars. Lately the guitar has made its way back in dance with a vengeance, but of course not understood as a musical instrument or something to which definition is already given. Music is the new cool in dance, and the absolutely most uncool is naked men and DJ’ing. Singing is semi-cool but stay away from exoticism and capitalization on the behalf of somebody that could be called other. Just forget about that department, it will always bring trouble. A better proposal is to throw dollar bills on the audience – coupé décalée style.

To form a band is a very bad idea in 2010. Stop it! You don’t want to be in a band. Get real, it’s just some silly idea of realizing your youth dreams. Look, you are doing business – it might sound pathetic but dance is a business and you have no where else to go. To form a band is as stupid as thinking that Bill Gates created Guitar Hero because he always wanted to be in a band.

If you, when you visited you parents this summer, went downstairs to catch up with your old Stratocaster copy, make sure this was the last time. Do not do that again! Concert… embarrassing in the first place but then where… In the foyer, or festival centre of a dance festival. Seriously. Songs sang with the voice placed between your collarbones. Vulnerability 2010 is not recommended.

Sound is definitely the new cool, but with music come figures and entourage and the first to show up is always John Cage. This summer I have already seen two shows based on the lecture on nothing, and I hear rumors about a handful other pieces. John Cage is not cool and his lectures are modernist mumbo jumbo – R.I.P. don’t resurrect those old monsters, they will at best become zombies, living-dead rejecting contemporary technologies and social networks as inauthentic. As if we want autonomy.

Now, what is the lecture on nothing about? Nobody seems to know, however I didn’t have the opportunity to ask Quentin Tarantino. You know it’s not about nothing or music, it’s not about structures or repetition. It can’t be, if so it’s simply too stupid. The lecture on nothing is obviously a critique of male heterosexual production, delicately resonating with its environment: never up in the face and yet a sort of undercover nail in the eye of male representational frames. The critique is moving around the central note, it refuses to adhere to established tonalities and fiddles with harmonies, but most of all it avoids any kind of production as an ungrounding of the entire system of male heterosexual production. The lecture of nothing undermines an entire system and what amazes me is that the follower of Cage is such a genuine hetero. I like the image of a bunch of young male lets say bassoon players, needless to say very hetero, expressing their admiration for Cage in the local music academy. The bassoon player in conversation with the clarinetist: “-So radical, so subversive…” not realizing that what they support is a gay manifesto. Sweet.

However a new problem arrived, what does it mean when a female choreographer gives the lecture supported by, so to say, a master in her Ipod headphones supporting the text with a fleshy rather eroticized improvisation. Eszter Salamon subordinates herself to the equalized, indifference of John Cage’s voice, liberating herself from representation without nobody realizing. Salamon’s dance is not very exiting, it’s long and the text is so dated, so tiring to have to listen to all those quasi esoteric tropes that ooze of vanity, but this is precisely where Salamon’s piece goes undercover, where it goes tactical and has nothing to do with Cage, but only this lecture can give her permission to unground, decode herself. Salamon gives Cage the possibility to undo herself.

Burrows and Fargion are in their n’th duo using the same lecture. Obsessed with structures the two men fiddle and fiddle and fiddle with the lectures making it even more important, giving it even more significance. Where Salamon dissolves the two boys appropriates and so to say surf the wave of Cage. And by the way, if the interpretation of the lecture proposed is correct, aren’t Burrows and Fargion announcing themselves as a gay couple. Sweet, they are giggling and dancing a bit clumsy. Contained and perfect. Jonathan and Mateo.

Sound is back in business, and perhaps Cage is more than a dead composer. It’s definitely the new cool, but forget Cage and let’s engage in making thing. Nothing is not an option, this year its all about “Too Much Too Soon” – make up and stop being modest.


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