Manga dancing in Canada

February 10, 2008

Reading a graphic novel could be more demanding then reading an ordinary book, to be honest… because you have to concentrate on both, words and images at the same time.

Basically, many people think that words jointly with drawings can not be taken serious. Well, that is what I call a complete quasi intellectual understanding of the media.

For those who have problems with perceiving this fact I would recommend a classic by Scott McCloud ‘Understanding Comics’… great title…

While surfing on the net last night, I’ve come across to very interesting dance project which has happened in November 2007 in Vancouver entitled ‘Manga’; ‘inspired by the continuous movement as well as the stillness seen in these simple, yet intense and expressive, drawings’ as somebody said at artword.net.

Manga, Les Productions Figlio (c)

A 60-minute duet was choreographed by the ex-Ballet National de Marseille dancer Serge Bennathan, who is lately known also as a theatre director of his own company Les Productions Figlio and a children book author. In 2002 he was also a member of the artistic team with the brilliant film director Atom Egoyan working on the Canadian Opera Company’s production of ‘Salome’. He has won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Choreography in 2003 for The Satie Project, and this year he is also one of the nominees.

Folkz from DanceWorks have also noted that ‘following Absences created for Dancemakers in 2006, Bennathan explores the elegance of the inner dancer with an approach that is subtle, poetic, and ferocious’.

Well, I was completely attached to that fact that he did a dance piece inspired by manga with two dancers, known as new art forces at the Canadian dance scene, Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan.

Susie Burpee (c)

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the new era of digital YouTube-ism gave us many opportunities for watching films and excerpts from dance pieces online and for free, I couldn’t find anything about Manga dance piece in digital spheres. I’ve found only a video from a very interesting project, more precisely an improvised performance which was choreographed and performed by Susie Burpee with ‘Geo’s Fast Trip’ (Geordie Haley, Ronda Rindone & Joe Sorbara) as a part of the Leftover Daylight Series in Toronto in the summer of 2006.

However, you can find at the Dance Current Magazine’s web pages a complete online analysis of the performance by Megan Andrew a dance artist and writer and Kaija Pepper a dance researcher.

‘Through exaggerated motions, a comic strip comes to life on the stage…. Grey doll girls in their plain tunics, (Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan) they explode into action out of nowhere, larger than life in their thrusting and throwing. Bertrand Chenier’s score provides heroic exclamation points with lots of white space between…. firecracker movers, both of them.’, said the journalist of the Vancouver Sun Newspapers in November 2007.

Angel Diary, Manga Temple (c)

Well, since I haven’t saw anything of it either online or in the theatre, the only thing I can do now is to grab some of my mangas from the bookcase and listen to some improvised music from Japan… hoping that my characters will start to perform at some point…

Artistically tattooed in 2007?! Definitely…

December 28, 2007

artistically_tattooed_in_2007_definitely_.jpg

And then Schwartzy said: ‘Wanna have the same body?! Ha?! Then read a book, watch some art movie, visit the exhibition, go to theatre, enjoy street art, dandle your chicken, take a break dance lesson, take a snap shot, take a nap… or sit on the couch and surf through web.’

OK, the year 2007 is now only the past… so, it’s a perfect moment to summarize in short notes some of the turning pointz which happened to be the coolest art moments for me… Those events  embellished my ‘cultural life’ last year…

Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty pretentious… but promise… will take precaution measures to stop it in reasonable time…

Books / Magazines
For me the book of the year is basically the 2006 edition of the William A. Ewing’s astonishing work ‘Face, The New Photographic Portrait’ [must have!!!!!!!!]…
’Art and Photography (Themes & Movements)’ also stays for 2007 my main resource of ‘photography’s place in recent art history’… simply amazing title…

A comic book by Danijel Zezelj / Stanislav Habjan: Be Fair to Dog! (you will certainly hear more about them, cause one of them is a very successful graphic novelist and the other is a great writer and art dreamer) [must see!!! Croatia version only]

At the end of the year I’ve bought a book ‘maeda@media’ (Thames & Hudson, 2000) by silent new media walker John Maeda… really beautifully edited book by a real genius.

I have finally surfed seriously through the Lifehacker concept and their blog… well, I decided to use some advices and right about Christmas I’ve finished Gina Trapani’s book ‘Lifehacker – 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day’. Will see if it’s gonna work in my case… maybe I’m not hopeless…

Well, regarding the most coolish publisher that’s expectedly Taschen, because their anthropology editions are unbelievable.

For magazines just check out my del.icio.us account lomo.deedee and click tag magazine…

Dance / Theatre
I can’t remember what was great at the very beggining of the year in a sense of movin’ me forward from the art point of view, really, but I do remember very clearly the performance by the Preljocaj Ballet with their dance piece ‘N’ at the beginning of April in Zagreb. Definitely different Angelin Preljocaj’s approach to choreography with great soundscapes by Ulf Langheinrich and Kurt Hentschläger. [must see!!!]
Moreover, I can’t recall when was the last time that I had this felling of willing to slow a performance just to enjoy longer, I think it was during Sankai Juku or Josef Nagj’s performance  several years ago… after the piece was over I wanted to ask some bloke from the technical staff for a bootleg on DVD… I guess they would be overwhelmed with the idea…

Well, beginning of the summer was also pretty cool because of the Dance Week Festival… the main guest was lucid and breathtaking Louis Lecavalier (ex La La La Human Steps dancer) and I don’t have to explain this in long but to proceed you to YouTube for some inspiration. [must see!!!!!]

I took a break during the whole event to see all performances, and I have to admit, afterwards I had this feeling that dance pieces which I saw during the festival infused my veins with creativity for a longer period of time…

The winter at the end of the season has been pretty active in Zagreb for all folkz interested in performing arts; and at the recent finished Extravagant Bodies Festival I had an opportunity to see great performers / dancers Mat Fraser, Lisa Bufano and Bill Shannon… They gave us a different perspective into the life of artists with disabilities…. And of course, a thought about that who is disabled today, really?! Seems like we all have had mix up some thingz in our wannabe modern societies…

Exhibitions
Well, I really liked some old art pieces at the exhibition ‘Kinetic Art From Early Beginnings Up To Date’ with art works by my favorite Croatian artist Aleksandar Srnec and I’ve realized that Ivana Franke is an awesome installation artist with a very strong and complex composition.
Seeing a bootleg with Marina Abramovic’s Balcan Epic project (pst!!!) was very interesting…

Then, the exhibition ‘Scandinavian Design – more than a Myth’ at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb has presented a beautiful sustainable design oriented stuff (you can’t be wrong with this ‘shoot’, I know!)…

Photographs of Alison Lapper entitled ‘Alison and Parys’ at the above mention festival Ext-Bodies have thrilled me completely; B / W photos with amazing impact, attitude and imagery; love the color contrast on images that use just one color to intervene and gently bold the idea of human touch and the essence of motherhood. [must see!!!]

Films
The 25fps Festival of Experimental Film and Video took place in September, and some movies I saw there are still so close to my heart: ‘Slippery Mountain’ by G. Myznikova and S. Provorov; ‘Drei Grazien’ by Hanna Nordholt and Fritz Steingrobe, V. Lehtinen’s ‘Keidas’, a classic by Norman McLaren ‘Pas de Deux’, ‘Borders and Shading’ by Helena Schultheis…
Dark November was pretty much in animated mood thanks to Animafest 2007, really cool festival… hosting many great movies, but among them also a movie I was expecting to see for the whole year, ‘Persepolis’ by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud [must read comic!!!!!]

Personal thingz
Definitely working on the project presenting the art of photographer Toso Dabac on Culturenet.hr. I chased down this idea for the last two years as I’m working as English version editor and collaborator in the Still Gallery of Culture section. Why?! Because he is one of the greatest Croatian photographers and in 2007 he got his first virtual gallery ever… I’m so proud to be just a small splinter in the whole idea of getting things out about this great artist…[must see…]

Also, I’ve started to work on my own blogs (one is about art / culture in general and the other is devoted only to photography) and building my mini city Lomoland, a virtual city for all people interested in photography (artists, passengers, curators, art historians, collectors, enthusiasts…). Well, it’s nice to be a mayor even to a digital city… hmm…

Photography
The Lomographic Society in Vienna has decided to reissue the legendary analogue middle format camera Diana+, which caused the crash of their web pages for almost a day in September and the camera itself started to be a nightmare for many postmasters around the globe.
Diana+ is the goddess of all dignifying plastic cameras…

Hence, Diana is (after a small makeover, sure) a multifunctional art device well known for producing lo-fi atmosphere, famous for characteristic vignetting of the image, but now with a possibility for a ‘secret mission’ – being a pinhole camera. [definitely must have!!! …even if you are a proud owner of some digital camera, this old lady will slam you dig cam directly in lens and still stand dignified]

Web
Salvatore Iaconesi’s ‘del.icio.us poetry’ art net project which has been several times abandoned by internet search engines I find very very interesting and thought provoking…
I’ve found on MySpace great Canadian project entitled never sent, ‘an open community-based literary project exploring letters that were never received by the intended party for whatever reason’… very moving and poetic… [check this out: http://www.neversent.org/]

Check out the Japanese Synchronicity Project, it’s a photo album of the Earth, a photo album with collected images of the Earth in a moment… http://www.synchronicity-lab.org… I’ve got this link from a dear friend who is giving much efforts in synchronizing web creations…

I’ve tried not be infected by Google and really I started to like the KartOO visual meta search engine… you should try it…

Regarding my online inspirations I guess it was the same as in 2006, the super coolish cybernaut Regine Debatty’s blog we-make-money-not-art… awesome as usual.

The rest as follows… http://arttorrents.blogspot.com/; http://newsgrist.typepad.com/; http://revolutionart.publicistas.org/; >>>>
>>>>
(Well, check out my del.icio.us or protopage sites and you will find many interesting art / cultural / net art stuff that are presenting innovative theories in art… I’m to lazy to write all of them now, basically there are too many of them… and there is no logical point for writing long texts to be published in digital spheres … who will read this online?! gimme a break…
I totally forgot to write about music because soundz and silence are with me all the time… I mean my MP3 player:)

Oh, yeah, I did enjoy many free downloads in 2007 ;)….

p.s. for all interested, this lomo-photo above is not authors’ portrait.

Tags