by In Wales
Wed Nov 24th, 2010 at 06:24:00 AM EST
My flatmate's birthday present for me was a ticket to see Earthfall in their new production - The Factory - at the Wales Millennium Centre.
I should perhaps start with a disclaimer, this is contemporary dance (and so much more) and an entirely subjective experience for each member of the audience.
It is really tough to try to describe the performance and my own interpretation of it because I'm talking about a form of communication that doesn't necessarily use words and nor does it always translate into a coherent description. But then again, I don't think it is meant to. It is emotive and visual. The other danger of course, is sounding pretentious when discussing art.
If you like performance art and contemporary dance, I highly recommend it, it was just stunning. The review in the Guardian puts it much better than I possibly could.
The Factory, Earthfall - review | Cardiff | guardian.co.uk
The Factory is based on Andy Warhol's famous New York studio - the Silver factory - where collaborative creativity fuelled by amphetamine and all the influences of the 60s gave way to an iconic arts movement.
Warhol's collaborative nature reflects Earthfall's work - live music, film, spoken word and projected images come together with dance to form layers of media in a mesmerising creative environment.
Thinking back over it, my brain is making more connections between the performance and what I know of Warhol and his work. Political statements about the Vietnam war, the projection screens full of psychedelic colours reminiscent of his pop art style, and sexual liberation all knitted together with dance, live music and stunning visuals. One dancer lifts her top to show drawn on scars across her stomach, connecting me to the work of iconic photographer Richard Avedon whose work I saw in an exhibition in Amsterdam, including a floor to ceiling image of Warhol, his scars and images of other members of the Factory.
As always with dance, I never cease to be amazed by how much and how clearly you can communicate through that medium. I am deaf so it seems inevitable that I gain the most from visual artforms as opposed to music or spoken word. But still, it is like suddenly accessing a new language.
One of the things I love about the WMC is that it brings art to the masses and not just to a highly sophisticated, snobby elite. Performances are much more affordable, you can turn up in jeans, with your family, with your mates, there is a whole array of different styles of entertainment to appeal to many people and it is so important that people can have access to the arts in this way.
All forms of expression are valid and valuable. I didn't expect contemporary dance to say anything to me when I first saw a performance (Diversions/ National Dance Company Wales) but I was blown away by it, it is an experience I want everybody to have.