Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vancouver Dance History (2006-2016): Post 6

Yesterday I sign in at the Dance Centre at 3:50 pm. Right underneath Alexa, who hasn't bothered with her last name, or the floor she's on. Me, I'm not so confident people know who I am. Or why I'm there. So I add all my deets. Elevator door opens on four, and there's Alexa, and then Justine right behind her, carrying Max. I hit the right button to hold the door.

On six, in the AIR's windowless aerie, we kvetch about our map. Where to install it and what materials to use. Bristol board and scotch tape just won't do. Josh arrives and whisks Max away. I eat one of Justine's ballet competition cookies and think about Misty Copeland: the pressure to represent.

We take a walk. Down to the lobby to survey the walls of the stairwell leading to the Farris Studio. Where Deanna's posters currently are. Where Alexa's writing soon will be. When did that recessed screen get installed and, more importantly, can we use it? The space, visible from the outside and ripe with possibilities re intervening into the social choreography of spectators' pre-show routines (all those craned necks and twisted spines), is the obvious place for our installation. But can we somehow continue the cat's cradle of connections into the awful basement foyer, lace a spider's web of string across the ceiling to compete with the human ants snaking in their spiral lines as they await admission? (Way too many animal metaphors in that sentence.)

As I'm thinking about this, my head tilted back, the salty Swedish liquorice candy I've also pilfered from Justine's ballet competition stash (appropriate given Robyn's "Indestructible" was playing on my iPhone as I entered the building, and also given my visit to the dentist earlier in the day) gets stuck in my throat. I start to choke. Things get serious fast. Suddenly Alexa is behind me doing an improvised Heimlich maneuver. The candy flies from my mouth, lands with a thwunk right in the middle of the centre panel of the west-facing mirrored wall. It sticks for a second, a miniature chewed-up hockey puck dropped onto an upright fuse-ball table, before it starts a slow slide to the arm ledge, leaving a trail of spittle that looks like slug poo.

Later, on the seventh floor patio sharing a joint Justine has rolled, we are able to laugh about the incident. Agree that it definitely has to become part of the show. We look around, marvelling at how underused this space is. Think about what we could do with a few tables and chairs, some plants. A trampoline and a hot tub.

Back on the sixth floor, we make a list of things to do. Or what we'd like to try to do. In a moment of whimsy following my near-death experience, I ask about photoshopping images of ourselves into some of the web documentation of the works mentioned in our interviews. A series of Zelig-like moments of virtual embodied interpolation.

These are the ways rumours get started...

Exiting, with me having signed the three of us out, Justine asks about where all those daily inked records of people's comings and goings go. We're told they get filed, and that the Dance Centre keeps the last year's worth. Another resource. Another layer to our collective palimpsestic score.


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