Getting to know you: Interview with Gabrielle Revlock
“I think the intimacy comes from having to be really attuned to each other. I can’t space out or go off on my own. I’m constantly thinking about where he is and what he’s doing and how he might respond. There is an alertness.”
This weekend, March 24–26, Gabrielle Revlock brings her new dance work Show No Show to FringeArts. (Link to tickets.) Created with fellow dancer Aleksandr (Sasha) Frolov, the dance is a lively and intimate portrait of two people getting to know each other for the first time—two people who have few personal boundaries. We caught up with Gabrielle back in October of 2015 to ask about Show No Show’s beginnings and how it’s evolved.
FringeArts: How did the title Show No Show come about?
Gabrielle Revlock: This title came from Sasha [Aleksandr Frolov]. I like that it’s a little ambiguous/confusing/broken English/symmetrical/compositional. It gets at a are we performing or are we not performing—both for the audience and for each other. There is a game element. It reads as a game name to me. In the piece we do a lot of role playing and stepping into different states. Show relates to showing a thing and also doing a performance. I like it as a title because it’s open and has room for many interpretations. As soon as he said it I felt, yes, this is the title.
FringeArts: How did you meet Sasha and can you talk a little about how the two of you worked and created together?
Gabrielle Revlock: We met at a residency at Omi International Art Center in August 2014 and generated thirty minutes of material. We were really dedicated to working on the piece during the residency. It’s hard to say exactly how we began. I remember being impressed with him as a dancer and also curious about the way he moves because it’s different from my own movement patterns. I also enjoyed the solo he performed, My Life—it was brave and personal. It felt very present. I knew that I wanted to work with him but it’s always hard in the beginning because you don’t want to force someone to work with you if they don’t want to. At one point we ended up being partners in an exercise someone else at the residency led. (The first week everyone leads workshops for each other.) It was super awkward and did not go well and so I though okay, tried that, didn’t work, no chemistry, moving on. But somehow we got another chance to work together and it flowed so we kept going. We improvised a lot. I guess that’s how it began. We found a really good chemistry and share a sense of humor. I guess that’s why it continued.
Gabrielle Revlock: I suppose the challenge is to find trust with your collaborator. We were able, maybe because of starting work at a residency to find a safe and supportive space to begin to work. I think the intimacy comes from having to be really attuned to each other. I can’t space out or go off on my own. I’m constantly thinking about where he is and what he’s doing and how he might respond. There is an alertness.
FringeArts: What is the relationship of the audience to the show?
Gabrielle Revlock: The audience is always important. They are the witness. I see them as being in the same room as us, like flies on the wall, very close but not attracting too much attention. Or maybe peering through a hole in the wall. There are a few points where we really play to them. Ah, this is jogging my memory about another reason for the title. In the piece I have a more outward focus. I check in with the audience at points. Sasha only does this maybe once. Our costumes, this may change, reflect this—a sense that we are in two different worlds. Sasha wears training clothes and I were something, not formal but a bit more everyday. Perhaps I am in the theater performing for an audience and he is in the studio rehearsing for the performance—but it’s simultaneous. I know the audience is there, he does not.
FringeArts: What has been important for you and Sasha in fine-tuning the performance?
Gabrielle Revlock: Timing and rhythm are important. Keeping it alive is important. Activating the actual performance space.
Show No Show
Gabrielle Revlock and Aleksandr Frolov
March 24–26 at 8pm TICKETS
140 North Columbus Boulevard (at Race Street)
Philadelphia, PA 19106