This post refers to Galen’s post and Sally’s reply a bit, but I thought I’d separate it because I have a slightly different take.
First, I just finished my review of this for mnartists.org. Look for the review on Monday. I approached the performance from the cultural angle–what does this say about our ability to view dances from other cultures, etc–and I’m not going to rehash that in this post.
Like Sally, I wondered about the dialogue. How much were these two actually talking to each other? I got the sense that very little was actually going on during the performance–in two ways. First, they’ve certainly performed this plenty of times, and they have a routine, if not a script. But even taking the conversation at face value, would you really call that a conversation? Bel and Klunchun mostly refusing to understand each other, with only moments of artistic sympathy–really, it depressed me.
Also like Sally, I got stuck on this idea of risk versus purchase. The sniffy classicist in me wants to respond that there’s nothing wrong with knowing in advance what you are getting, that this is akin to the vital processes of rereading and revisiting, that knowing the outlines of what you’re getting prepares you to see more of the inside this time–and also that continually seeking new stimulation is characteristic of children and drug addicts. But I don’t think, on reflection, that Bel meant to rank gambling above purchasing.
Gambling–is that really what you feel you’re doing when you buy a Walker ticket? “They didn’t buy anything!” Bel exclaimed when explaining why disgruntled viewers don’t get their money back. All they bought was a chance. There’s something to that, isn’t there?
Speaking of disgruntled viewers, I did see a few people leaving before the end, and frankly I didn’t blame them. It was quite long for a lecture-dem type of thing, and I thought mostly aimed at the dance/contemporary performance crowd.