Friday, July 20, 2012

A Rich and Varied Day

There is a pile of post-it notes on the table that I managed to ignore all day; they are still there, sticky, curled and pink, trying to nag me, but I'm not in the mood. This morning I went over to Gina's. She's sorting out a short film of The Raincoats and I am helping her to structure and edit it, which is fascinating, tiring and exciting all at the same time. Punk survivors, from the people in the bands to the people who wrote about them, are a colourful and interesting bunch of people. After a short turnaround at home I headed back out, this time to Rich Mix in Shoreditch to see my friend Fred Gehrig perform. My route took me through some characteful streets, the like of which I have not seen before. There was a square that was more of a circle with a little park full of teenagers and hollyhocks; the iPhone satnav had adventures in mind. I'd never been to Rich Mix before. It was thronging with people, most of them young and unfeasibly trendy, going to see films, dance, theatre, the whole lot. Close-cropped dodocephalic heads with tufts of bleached hair at the front and mismatched little beards we the order of the day, worn with knee-length shorts and suit jackets and rich man's teeth. I was scared stiff, in a different world; a young woman gave us all badges (this was something to do with a world record attempt) and a woman smiled at me; I felt better. When we got into the auditorium, we watched a film of Fred dressed in Lycra, his face almost completely covered, and he told us some very funny stories about appropriate clothing for appropriate places. His work is about contrasting the strict working practices of Merce Cunningham with the much more extrovert work of PiƱa Bausch; in the film his face was close to us and we concentrated on his eyes. When the film ended, Fred appeared in person, clad all in black Lycra, and danced himself into projected slides of neon lights in deep yellow and blue, making complicated geometric shapes with his limbs, sometimes yoga-like, sometimes looking like photographs of Balanchine's choreography. I don't go to see many dance shows and was knocked out by the athletic prowess of Fred's dancing; I sat there feeling like a marshmallow. Note to self: must do a bit of exercise! He disappeared, to return, panting, in a grey suit; he spoke of meeting Merce Cunningham. 'Do you just make it up as you go along?', he had asked. The audience laughed. 'And what about the arms?' The audience laughed again. He mimicked the elderly and stiff Merce Cunningham, before walking forward to a projector which projected an image of a polar bear on to his suit.... Gradually he moved backwards and the bear appeared on the back wall. Fred started to dance with it and stroke it, until he appeared before us in a fur beard! It was very funny, especially when, at the question and answer session afterwards, he was pulling strands of false beard from his mouth. Anyway, I have pictures which I shall upload tomorrow.

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