Dance By Amy O'Neal That Makes People Excited and Upset, Including Amy O'Neal
by Jen Graves
on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Courtesy Amy O'Neal/Photo by Gabriel Bienzycki
I like believing that her nose is bleeding.
Amy O'Neal has been making a big new piece of dance for some time now, she's calling it The Most Innovative, Daring, and Original Piece of Dance/Performance You Will See This Decade, she's going to perform it at Velocity starting next week, and last week I went to an open rehearsal for it—which was far more open than I thought it would be, and if that sounds dirty, I mean it to.
This is the shoe.
The rehearsal involved a nervous O'Neal testing out two versions of what looked like it would be a lap dance, featuring a volunteer from the audience. It was not a lap dance either time, but it was also not entirely not a lap dance. She whispered in the ear of the volunteer at the beginning. She towered and teetered on her shoes. She crawled and clung, and quoted from tango and hip hop and ballet and modern, but really, the heat came from the specific interaction she was having with the person who'd volunteered to sit in that chair. The rest of us glimpsed it. I believe that was part of the point, our guessing and wondering.
The overall piece as I understand it is intended as an essay and an entertainment. To make it, she focused on what actually held her obsessive attention. Cheap things. Obvious things. Seemingly cheap and obvious things, anyway.
Themes, areas covered, and accoutrements used will include but I hope not be limited to: Janet Jackson, ass-popping (booty dance), a stripper's pole, ballet (addressing the popular perception that dancers are either ballerinas or strippers), Ciara's Ride video, a short doc film of quick interviews about ass conducted on Seattle streets, hip hop (from the point of view of a white woman teaching hip hop dance classes), race (obv), gender (obv), five-inch heels made entirely of transparent material, hip pain, objectification, chair dance, appropriation, respect.
Nobody has seen it yet, so I don't want to get all promisey. But I'm excited to see it, and I think you should consider going too. Info.
A few weeks ago, O'Neal taught the moves to Ciara's Ride video to a bunch of people over the course of a three-hour class at a Velocity studio. I was one of those people. If she ever does this again, become one of those people. Or just do any of this on your own and see how your body reacts: