Pretend to Comprehend - A Preview/Review of "milkdreams" by Alexandra Beller


Friday, June 12, 2015

Today I will attempt to go see "milkdreams" by Alexandra Beller. I say 'attempt' because lately I tend to get a little distracted along the way and the presence of distraction actually feels very appropriate for me when considering this work because Beller considers what could have been a delightful distraction into a choreographic masterpiece. I've been in several rehearsal processes where children were present. They wonder in and out of the dance space with no interest in cues, timing, or boundaries. I remember silently taking turns cradling the infant off to safety...away from flailing bodies and spiral falls...returning to the movement like I never left. These baby rituals gave me a sense of community and womanhood, but I also recognized the influence it had on my concentration and commitment within the rehearsal process. 

For Beller, such serendipitous moments serve as sources of inspiration."milkdreams" is composed of baby dances.  Footage from one rehearsal has been a Facebook/Youtube sensation, generating over a billion views. I anticipate that a glimpse into these baby dances will illustrate the magic and attention to detail we can offer movement and play...taking time to observe how a child navigates through studio space with a unique, or perhaps carefree, consideration to time and space...propelled by curiosity...something we can only pretend to comprehend.

I will go into this show with a curious lens, careful consideration, and my eyes playfully open.


Monday, June 15, 2015

After a full day of work, it comes as no surprise how challenging keeping one's eyes open (playfully or otherwise) can actually be when put into action. My advice...come well rested. Be committed to put in the work, stay present to see the evolution. Several words come to mind after seeing "milkdreams"...


Metered, measured
Drone, continuous music with pockets of tones, moving-alive and pulsing
Child-like, layered with old intelligence...a knowing
Unfolding patterns, shapes, pathways
Light dances around the space, revealing waiting bodies

There were many satisfyingly, pleasurable moments within this work...a clear intention to invest and indulge with curiosity. Pulsing, rhythmic, monotonous, drone-like...sometimes soothing me to sleep. Yes, I weaved in and out of sleep. My heart had every intention to remain engaged for the duration of the 40-something-minute piece, but my body had other interests. Maybe it was a combination of a full workday and sleep deprivation, but with minimal changes within the visual and auditory landscape (an observation that is entirely subjective), I was constantly coaxed into a dream-like state.

I want to see it again. I want to challenge myself to remain awake for the duration of the piece. I wonder if I will feel differently investing fully and completely into the experiential nature of the work. I'm disappointed that I couldn't give it my full attention the first time around. I do respect Beller's artistry; I respect her commitment to her artistic purpose and practice. I hope to carry that same type of courage, motivation, and commitment into my artistry.  

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