JG My theory is that I can't make a resonant, rich, performative moment on onstage, or in a site, unless I'm having that experience. I can't just package it. Really the job for the performer is constructing a road map, or an obstacle course even. You're not working to create an experience for someone else; you're working to create an experience for yourself. Human beings can share that. We have a very good authenticity meter in our hearts and minds. We [the audience] can get on the boat with you. But you have to be taking the ride as a performer; that's what's essential. If you're not taking the ride, there's no way we're going to take it.
SFBG In your approach, dance-theater it's sometimes called, you've been synthesizing forms, dialogue, movement, text, music, for over 30 years ...
JG And I'm only 40! How does that work?
SFBG It's a precocious body of work. But there must have been dance purists and theater purists who balked at the synthesis ...
JG Well, there still are. Don't suffer the illusion that those people have gone away. There are people who look at my work and say it's not dance. There are certainly people who look at my work and say it's not theater. It falls between the cracks; they're unsettled by it and they don't want any part of it. I think the contemporary viewer — I mean, we're so much about the mashup; we're so much about computer animation infiltrating live action. All these collisions are happening in media. For a younger audience to see dancers speak? They don't care. "That's cool, whatever, why wouldn't they?" And that's how I always felt.
There's another element there too. When I started making this kind of work: I wanted to have some frank expression of myself as a gay man. Not in a silver jock strap waving a rainbow flag, but as a fully- dimensional human being. Not hiding that very essential part of my identity, but somehow bringing it in. I felt I needed my voice to do that. My body was going to get to an essential part of that, but there was another whole part that needed to be addressed. And pretty much from the beginning, there was a huge audience for it. I feel like I've definitely found my place with it. I don't feel like there's any going back, that's for sure.
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