Addressing the unspeakable - Page 2

'Pageantry' highlights the reality between the lines

Fully armed: Justin Morrison's Weapon

"Both pieces are really about the moments right before you go through a big change," says Tenuto, "it's a close reading of such moments. It's very detailed, [and performed] in a very rich way, a very vibrant and dense way —but also a little bit artificialized and over the top, which is definitely something that I've inherited from being a performer in San Francisco and commingling with drag and commingling with theater."

According to Tenuto, her work plays with the suggestion of narrative rather than a specific storyline (she notes that whereas part one operated tonally as a kind of hyper-drama, on a par with a Mexican soap opera, part two will be more of a mystery-noir). Morrison, by contrast, eschews narrative altogether, in terms that imply a reluctance to imbue dance with the limiting horizon such narrative tropes can form.

"There seems to be a proliferation of works that are, or seek to be, 'about' something," notes Morrison. "Perhaps [that's] a byproduct of the grant writing process."

Morrison says he finds this problematic, since "it forces artists to contrive a narrative, often steeped in cliché." More often than not, this means for Morrison familiar platitudes around identity and politics.

"Work," he contends, "becomes overtly a narrative about self, about the performers, about the economy, for example; at times, [this means] ignoring the phenomenological, the abstract, or that which cannot otherwise be described, only experienced."


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