May 7, 2019
I have never been to a rave, but I imagine it might turn into something like what Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek conceived of when making ATTRACTOR: “a unique music/dance ritual.” A group work with dancers from Dancenorth Australia and Lucy Guerin Inc., and accompanied by the Indonesian music duo Senyawa, ATTRACTOR also included audience participation in a semi-improvised way.
The result was an energizing mix of high intensity skill and high intensity demand for attention, from both performers and audience. The music, a score that sometimes sounded to Western ears like electrified animal screeches or indigestion, along with loud reinterpretations of metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, kept the audience (some with earplugs) in a heightened state of… awareness.
The musicians sat centerstage with two microphones, lit from above, with the dancers in chairs arranged in a semicircle around them like at a campfire (sometimes drinking from water bottles in between sections). They broke out into solos, duos and group work with a highly structured improvised quality. A tall blonde woman with mesmerizing liquid isolations and animal-like movements led the group into a volatile sections of seemingly endless thrashing.
Wild falls to the floor and rolls mixed in with unison breath and movement, embodied the creators’ vision of “succumbing to the inherent power of music and dance.” Audience members joined them on the stage, and it was fun to watch all the different bodies, outfits, and levels of skill – “unrehearsed” but uncannily capable of moving together in the same direction, on the same leg and in clear patterns. This was very impressive, until we learned the amateurs were being directed through earbuds. Nonetheless, the non-cast members convincingly joined in the ritual, turning a wild event into well-organized shared experience.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY--Nicole Duffy Robertson