REACTION: Myra Bazell/SCRAP Performance Group’s TIDE
If you’ve never been the Isaiah Zagar’s backyard (aka Philadelphia’s Magical Gardens), now is the time to go. Myra Bazell and her dancers have created a work that flows in and out and all around this small labyrinth of mirror mosaics, bicycle wheels, clay tiles, and thousands of glass bottles. Every inch of this place has a story to it—Zaegar’s designs are famous for invoking stories, histories, ideas, politics, and TIDE seems to do a lot of the same.
<%image(20080910-tide sm.jpg|250|380|null)%>The amazing thing about the gardens is that everything you see is different—there may be repeating patterns, but you could walk through the place a thousand times and have a completely different experience each time, noticing different tiles, different ceramic faces or pieces of found art built into the walls.
The performers have generated their own characters and bits of speech and song and this feels like something along the lines of a historical reckoning—the piece is a collection of the stories and memories of their parents and grandparents, like an accumulation, a collective stream of consciousness over time.
The result is a pastiche of movement, speech, and sound that resonates beautifully with Zagar’s work—this magical garden is a perpetual work in progress, like a life, or a history; it has been in progress ever since he began. A perpetual evolution. The dancers are full of nuanced gestures and expressions, climbing the walls of the place and weaving in and out of the windows as if they live there, in this permanently evolving world. It’s quite a sight. If you can’t make it to TIDE this week, don’t worry! It is already on the bill for the 2009 Live Arts Festival.
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