Counterculture Riffs

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Composers

Naoka Nagata's tights-and-T outfits for Yamamoto and Sherman are lollipop bright (Meyer's in a lavender dress with a corsage). Sherman wears a South Park figurine strapped to her arm, and at one point the band lines up and tries to follow projections from an arcade dance machine. But silent crying and noisy screams figure, as well as laughter. An effort by Meyer and Yamamoto to agree on how they met (in a nightclub chorus line?) seems both funny and ominous—as if neither really remembers anything.

At one point, Sherman lies inert, and Meyer tries to nudge her to life as a dog would—biting and pulling her shirt and pants, finally snuggling against her. One or another of the three may be subjected to stern airport interrogations or big questions that require immediate answers, like "If you have one month to live, what do you want to do?" The dancers hold up and identify flags before sticking them in little blocks; three are U.S. flags. After a series of ferocious all-out matches, the flags become sort of trophies. By twisting her own pant leg, one woman can administer terrible pain to another.

Gonzalez, Rudiger, and Rider Da Silva in Uchizono's new Low
photo: Pete Kuhns
Gonzalez, Rudiger, and Rider Da Silva in Uchizono's new Low

The piece is entertaining, smart, but a bit disorganized. Disjointedness is a way of life. None of the little episodes—funny or tragic or frightening—affects what follows it. This country's in trouble, seems to be the message. There's even a possible solution. After a speech on the joys of farting, Yamamoto yells, "I want to tell all Americans, 'Free your ass!' " It's an idea.

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