Notes from Claudia La Rocco
June 17, 2015
Danspace Project invited several artists and practitioners from our community to participate as Respondents in a series of written reflections on Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings and People in the Streets. This series shares a wide range of perspectives on the Platform’s events. Below, Platform curator Claudia La Rocco shares a look back at February and March. For more background on the Platform, read La Rocco’s curatorial statement here. Share your comments on our Facebook page!
1. I don’t have to have the global view; that’s what the curatorial part was, upfront, to feel solid in my choices, my theoretical underpinnings … it isn’t for me now to say what it was, what happened. I like that. It feels like a good corrective, having done that for so many years when I was a critic working in journalism (criticism isn’t journalism, but a writer’s surrounding culture inevitably rubs off on her).
2. Working with Danspace Project was the strongest and most meaningful collaborative experience I’ve ever had with an institution. That’s because the “institution” was Judy Hussie-Taylor, Abby Harris Holmes, Lily Cohen, Lydia Bell, Peggy H. Cheng, Michael DiPietro, Jodi Bender, Leo Janks, Carol Mullins, Kathy Kaufmann, Racy Brand, Lindsay Reuter, Emie Hughes, Sanda Saveanu and Kirsten Schnittker. And Emmanuel.
3. People keep emailing me to say they’ve seen NYCB folks in the audience at various 19th Street (NYLA) and below art spaces. This feels like one version of success.
4. I’m cognizant that the arranged marriages I made didn’t always lead to smooth sailing. I see how naïve I was and if I had to do it again I would do certain things very differently; but also I cannot be unhappy with my naiveté, with the ways in which two dozen exemplary artists made up for my curatorial shortcomings.
5. Watching Siobhan Burke, Jean Butler, Adrian Danchig-Waring, and several other students with varying degrees of dance training (including zero) take Silas Riener’s Cunningham workshop felt like another version of success.
7. I got called a yenta, and that felt gross, but I guess I had it coming. (see point 4.)
8. I had all these ideas about female ballet dancers becoming creators … this didn’t exactly happen in the way I envisioned it, but when Emily Coates said, I think at the closing conversation, that the work she made for this Platform was her first as a solo maker (I think that’s right, am I imagining that?) … this felt perfect. A gift.
9. I’m sorry that this is so sentimental and also I’m not sorry at all.
10. I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting it is to hold the accountable yet neutral ground of a curator. It gave me new appreciation for how protected writers are, what is both vital and dangerous about that.
11. I got to watch Yvonne Rainer teach Trio A. As a sub. She couldn’t remember certain parts of it; this felt right. She’s had other things on her mind since then.
12. Pam’s day felt like candy.
13. The magic of Yve Laris Cohen and Perry Silvey and D’ANSER
14. Yvonne walking out. The electricity of that.
15. I think those who felt Kaitlyn Gilliland and Will Rawls “didn’t dance enough” misunderstand language entirely. And dance.
16. Sterling Hyltin, Sara Mearns, Jodi Melnick, and Rashaun Mitchell making something together, and yet what I remember most are the ineluctable (that isn’t quite the right word, but I love how it sounds) moments of each alone.
17. Jillia Peña and Troy Schumacher still debating in Porsena …
18. I am impressed by David Hallberg’s courage.
19. How a curator feels she must say something about everyone (a different sort of global view?); how a critic doesn’t. What is important, crucial, about both of those stances. Everything in its place.
20. You can never say something about everyone.
21. That final exhausted toast with the Danspace gals in the back room.
22. Those early heady and awkward meetings, trying to get everyone in one room and not quite knowing what to do once that happened.
23. The catalogue!
24. Whatever I am forgetting that I will remember and regret not saying as soon as this is published.
25. The closing party. The East Village on fire, actually. Dancers, bodies, people in the streets.