ps: we are all here. night one.
curated, organized, realized by the toronto dance community love-in
grass installation by helen yung
two/fan by michael caldwell
d.b.k. by rob abubo
the practice by kelly keenan and adam kinner
these thoughts by molly johnson
1. Most of our show going happens in the dark of winter, or that's the way it seems. My recollections of Toronto performance attending mainly involve me, at home, not wanting to go nowhere...which could happen at any old time of year but generally indicates winter. So to take the cross-town bike ride, with the warm and the breeze and the actual physical lightness that only summer can conjure, and to end up at the back end of Pia's, where food is being served and friends are congregating and it's eight pm but it's not dark out and everyone looks kind of fabulous and kind of crazy...this is good news. This is good news for art-going.
2. Reasons to love the grass: nature's charge. it made everyone a little dirty. i could take my shoes off in a demonstrative way instead of a sneaky weirdo way. my mouth felt gritty, which felt immersive. outside inside inside outside.
3. As the evening plays out, I am aware of needing to write about my experience. I am also aware that I am more willing to criticize the work of the artist I don't have a personal relationship with. I am more inclined to appreciate the work of the people I know well.
4. Michael Caldwell's Two/Fan reminds me of my neighbourhood, Sherbourne and Dundas. It reminds me of the manic but familiar relationships that amass on these street corners. Sweatpants and sunglasses cement this vibe. Louis Laberge-Côté defies gravity, which I'm pretty into. I wish there was more silence in the work. And more intention? I'm not sure about that. I experience the work with the knowledge of Michael, and feel the continued growth in what he is exploring as a creator. Whether through the vocabulary itself, or the inevitable lines of the trained bodies, I start thinking about dance as a form and how I want less of it because it doesn't make any goddamn sense...but I miss it when it's gone.
5. Rob Abubo entertains me. I don't know if the work he has made entertains me, or if it's just him. But then, in my mind, the success of the work relies on his unique brand of insanity. I've yet to see Ben Kamino's nudity, desire but I have fragments of other people's recollections of the work implanted in my memory. I wonder about karaokes and covers and how closely they tie to inside jokes and think on the good and the bad of that.
6. When I see the saxophone, it worries me. In the end it was exactly right, and a welcome presence in a work I had many questions about. Questions are all the rage, which made me want to stop asking and just lay there and turn my head on its axis and vibe with what it was instead of wondering what it wasn't. I'm interested in work that work relies heavily on the abandon and attention of the audience. But The Practice was too familiar to someone who spends many a day practicing. And as a performance...not for me, I don't think but perhaps I need to see it and not be it. From within, the voice of Kelly Keenan is spacious and assured but I have a hard time listening to lines being read off of a script. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that I need all or nothing.
7. Do I need a conclusion? The work was varied and involving, thoughtfully curated and delivered by the artists. This night made my head spin in good/important/spinal related ways and it happened in the grass, with a tall can of beer, surrounded by favourite faces and welcome unknowns. The Love In continues to contribute to our keepin on keepin community of makers in incredibly important ways, and in the case of ps: We All Are Here they are making a space that encourages taking pleasure in an event of presentation. That may sound obvious, but frankly, more often than not it's an elusive entity. I was really happy to be there.