| HERE (formerly HERE Arts Center), New York City, NY
Floating Point Waves
|HERE (formerly HERE Arts Center), New York City, NY, 145 6th Ave, New York City, NY 10013, United States|
Friday 6-Apr-12 08:30pm
Meditative stillness and physical extremity converge in a mesmerizing solo performance centered in an environment constructed by LEIMAY: Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya, the duo behind CAVE, The New York Butoh Festival, and the upcoming Soak Festival, in collaboration with composer Jeremy D. Slater and lighting designer Solomon Weisbard. Floating Point Waves unveils the relationship between the human body and natural elements as movement, water and light connect in an organic causal chain. Every motion of the dance is reflected in the elements that surround it, as performance and exquisite design fuse in a landscape where beauty coexists with darkness.
Floating Point Waves is conceived and designed by Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya. Choreographed and performed by Ximena Garnica. Video-Lighting design by Shige Moriya. Additional lighting design by Solomon Weisbard. Sound composition by Jeremy D. Slater.
The collaborative duo Leimay promised Floating Point Waves to be “a performance experience of solo dance, real-time video, live electronic music, water and kinetic sculptures,” and they delivered. The two multi-disciplinary artists who comprise the duo – dancer Ximena Garnica and designer/director Shige Moriya – created an immersive world of captivating videos, simple set pieces that produced bizarre visual effects, and evocative music. Whether or not the experience “unveiled the relationship between the human body and natural elements” may be a matter of debate. Still, it was a study in doing cool things with basic tools, and resulted in lush sounds and memorable images.
Under the light and video design by Solomon Weisbard and Mr. Moriya, the work organized itself around the dancer’s interactions with the strange objects that were laid across a sort of nightmare playground. The light effects transformed simple organic materials such as wood and water into living, interactive players. Lengths of fabric served as columns that received and refracted projections from the back and front of the stage; a shallow pool of water was bathed in colored lights and its ripples projected on the wall behind. A wobbly wooden circle became a sort of sinister merry-go-round for Ms. Garnica to balance on, and at the very end, a maypole of white cloth strips leapt above her movements, a living statue of a spider. Throughout, brilliant colors and textures were projected onto the set, altering the mood and amplifying Ms. Garnica’s movements.
In the darkness we first heard the eerie sound effects of Jeremy D. Slater, which ranged from what might be ambient sounds from within the womb or an artery, to stylized train engines, to pitched percussion that leapt out of the atmospheric texture, to simple guitar chords. Throughout the evening, the sound drifted in and out of one’s attention, as the visuals and movement traded center stage.
Ms. Garnica’s movements, which she choreographed under Mr. Moriya’s direction, were intentional and distinct, with clear gestures and shapes that interacted with the set in unexpected ways. At her first entrance, Ms. Garnica appeared among the columns, clad in snug muslin boyshorts and a thin shirt, her face framed by long black hair and masked in bone-white make-up, like one of Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon. She searched among and within the columns, becoming another prop to refract the light.
After spending some time teetering on the wooden merry-go-round, the dance found its most successful moments in the water pool. Ms. Garnica began by standing, becoming something of a statue by letting her image reflect over the gently rippling water, which was projected behind her. She cast a shadow over the pool, which mirrored the projection, all of it bathed in an inorganic green light. The movements grew more intense, and she found herself lying face up in the water, limbs extended, an image that was recorded from above and projected blurrily onto the screen. Resembling a many-armed god, or a tropical insect, she rolled over and over in the water, emitting haunting screams, and her black hair wrapping around her face. The scene culminated with smoke emitted in jets from the ceiling.
The dance and sounds climaxed in the simple yet striking image of Ms. Garnica huddled underneath a canopy of white strings whose ends were fastened to the floor. The apparatus bobbed down to meet her when she leapt up, like two different species dancing together.
Floating Point Waves worked as an exploration of the intersection of human and electronic images with organic and electronic sounds, and the creativity that can come from inventive interactions with the simplest design elements. One wished for a more specific intention behind the special effects: if not a story, then a form that had more to it than simply interesting ways of interacting with four set pieces. Instead, it was more of a showcase of what happens when creative people get together and experiment with movement and light.