Spring Forward: On being a professional audience member
In a festival situation like Spring Forward, where you prance from one performance to the next, an
audience to more dance than the human brain can possibly comprehend in three days’ time, the mind and heart become a kind of dart board. Each piece throws something, or many things your way. Each performer arrives with a specific, personal energy, each choreographer with their vision and it is all aimed at you, launched in your direction at various speeds.
Some performances whizz past you, some hit the outer rim of your dart board and bounce off, some touch down in the far circles and some pierce straight into the red center, the underbelly, the bullseye. The darts come painted with different potions, some fragrant and soothing others poisonous.
There is not much one can do to prepare for such a plentiful offering. There is no way of knowing which pieces will hit home. Tiredness, pre-conceived notions, temperature, seating, stages of digestion, resonating interactions, being overwhelmed…these shrink the radius of our boards.
The best you can do is to keep that board steady, stay in the present and allow each dart its best chance at making contact. I witnessed nineteen performance in Aarhus. I sat in a what felt like a dozen venues, some of the nicest I have seen, and tried to receive what the Spring Forward 20 proposed.
Taneli Torma’s Classical Beauty touched on a long-forgotten childhood fantasy of mine. That dart hit in the softest, sweetest way. Daniele Ninarello and Dan Kinzelman’s Kudoku utterly hypnotized me, leaving me in awe of the immense talent that exists in this world. Mithkal Angzhair’s Displacement hurt going in and continues to smart when I remember the performers’ stark gazes, their metronome feet and their raised, surrendering arms. And Andreas Constantinou’s Woman, largely thanks to ferociously generous performance by Danni Mariblanca , shot a hole straight through my gut, leaving a little opening for some new air to get in.
Aerowaves’ Spring Forward took place in Aarhus, Denmark on April 28-30, 2017.
Ori J. Lenkinski