Do You Like Star Fiction?
By Michael Helland
Costumes by Sera-Kim Huenergard
Stars: Rebecca Brooks, Alison Clancy, Nancy Forshaw-Clapp, and Miriam Wolf
Dixon Place Body Blend curated by Isabel Lewis, June 21, 2005 (New York)
AUNTS Fall Bash at the Event Center curated by Rebecca Brooks and Jean-Marie Leary, October 19, 2005 (Brooklyn)
Movement Research at Judson Church ‘About Town’ at Dance Theater Workshop, November 27, 2005 (New York)
Joyce SoHo Presents, May 4-6, 2006 (New York)
Do you like Star Fiction? is an ontological exploration that asks: What makes someone feel like Someone? And if we are all special individuals, how can we find ways to be separate together? Living within and alongside an industrial fashion culture that promotes the body as a territory for personal expression, our efforts to feel unique and beautiful often cause us to become simultaneous agents and subjects of colonialization. In this quartet the performers attempt to overcome cascades of conformity and cycles of conquest that infringe upon emergent forms of diversity and meaning. These quasi-robot-dolls search for modes of personal expression balanced with states of collective empathy in the hope of transcending the trappings of branding and celebritization. However, their success is slippery and ultimately lost in the spotlight as compassion is perpetually sacrificed and renewed in a permanent competition with ubiquity.
“Michael Helland, a choreographer hailing from Seattle, launches us into a Space Oddity-like otherworldly yet mordant piece in Do You Like Star Fiction?… Though a short part, this opening section was extremely rich and reverberated with a plethora of meanings: the sarcastic mockery of audience and consumer satisfaction, the introduction of simultaneously ditzy, zombie-like, and ironic enigmatic dancer-characters, even a postmodern ontological commentary on the arbitrary nature of meaning. The calling out of numbers to determine dancing was a sardonic spurning of humanist notions of intentionality, ‘genius,’ agency, or psychological personhood being the kernel of artistic creation. This opening section approached perfection in its blend of movement, meaning, and social commentary… Helland is exquisitely adept at generating an entire mindset, and one that was thickly present, from these dancer-characters… Operating in a sublime stratosphere of acute social awareness blended with an exquisitely executed artistic sensibility, Helland’s was possibly my favorite dance piece of the season. If Lower Lights Collective can tie their synergetic eclecticism and raw unaffected irreverence with as strong a social awareness and highly matured raison d’etre behind the ‘form’ as Helland, they will be doing very well.” The Wesleyan Mafia and Stepford Wives in Cloud City by Andrea Liu, NY Arts Magazine 2007
Above photos by Steven Schreiber
Above photos by Alex Escalante