Blog Archives

Here’s something for Memorial Day: Dance at the Jefferson Memorial and get arrested!

This happened last week. Did you know you can’t dance in a public place? Can’t kiss your girlfriend either.

Welcome to America.

I don’t usually give such coverage to Libertarians… but this is something that really bothers me. I don’t care if there are demonstrators doing what we really saw as demonstrating in the 60s and 70s… public spaces like National Monuments should be open for such demonstrations as long as there is no violence, no interference with others getting to go to or pass through the area, and no profanity or pornography, etc. This little police action… plus the shutting off of a Press camera (freedom of the press should extend to public places)… is more than irritating. It is frightening.

Adam Kokesh is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War and former US Congressional candidate from New Mexico. Adam has testified before Congress and has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, and ABC. As a Marine, Adam was sent to Fallujah in 2004 and received the Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Commendation medal as a sergeant. Kokesh attended graduate studies in political management at George Washington University and holds a B.A. degree in psychology from Claremont McKenna College.

Zappa conducts “G Spot Tornado” with the Ensemble Modern:

Late career Zappa working in Europe where they always appreciated him more. I just ran into this one and was fascinated:

Happy 8th day of Zappadan!

The frustrations of a poorly structured piece…or don’t revise the blocking during the tech rehearsals.

I’m up in the lighting booth, of course, with a show that opens in three days, and the woman who plotted the opening dance number (I hesitate to call her a choreographer)  is changing the blocking AGAIN. On top of that, the music has never really been heard in one piece and the cast really doesn’t know when to start or finish a move.

And I’m trying to light this piece based on where they stop and read lines. Did I tell you we open in three days? One of my cardinal rules when I direct is you freeze the blocking during tech week. If you don’t, you run major odds that the lights will not fit on cue and the show will look like hell.

Not to mention what it will sound like. Using a computer stored score, you should have the music edited down by the first rehearsal… or at least by the start of the second week. I wonder if I mentioned we are three days away from opening?

So now they are calling an extra tech rehearsal tomorrow at 5:00.  Maybe we will FINALIZE something.

But I doubt it. Then again, we open in 3 days.

Jill Johnston dies at 81…

Jill Johnston, former Dance Critic and Columnist (Lesbian Nation) in the heyday of the Village Voice has died of a stroke in Hartford, CT.

In my New York years, her column was one of my weekly regulars. She was one of the true voices of the New York Avant Garde and was also a great writer.

From the NY Times:

Ms. Johnston started out as a dance critic, but in the pages of The Voice, which hired her in 1959, she embraced the avant-garde as a whole, including happenings and multimedia events.

“I had a forum obviously set up for covering or perpetrating all manner of outrage,” she wrote in a biographical statement on her Web site,

The fact that she was 81 was a big surprise to me… time sure flies.

Merce Cunningham dies at 90

In 1944, Merce Cunningham, then a dancer in the Martha Graham Company, left to start creating his own dance ideas and never looked back. In 1953 he established the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and, teaming with composer John Cage and artists like Robert Rauschenberg, he completely changed our ideas about dance and staged movement.

Cunningham and Cage, aside from becoming the kind of committed couple that was not discussed in the fifties or sixties, developed a commitment to concepts like chance procedures and the creation of “events.”

Cunningham stopped performing himself after Cage’s death in 1992, but went on to explore dance in technology and animation among other things.