Danielle Kelly + Noelle Stiles: Blanket
Blanket Space, 1100 NW Glisan
posted by: dirtybombpdx
Non-narrative solo performance is extremely difficult to pull off, but especially so at 45 minutes in length. Having heard (and seen) so much about this show and the art installation aspect of it, I have to admit, I was sadly under-whelmed by the “blanket space”. The soft sculptures hanging in the space at 11th and Glisan are lumpy pastel sacks that, in their messy whimsy, would be pretty light fare if shown in a gallery setting. A few of the sacks are wired for sound and when touched create an interactive music-scape (an original score is credited to Unrecognizable Now). Given the opportunity to explore the interactivity between dancer, object and sound, the resulting score, like the space, is less than dynamic, and ironically, feels completely unoriginal (late 80′s New Age. I wanted to light a scented candle). The choreography, though not completely uninteresting, at times borders on parody. The opening 10 minutes (it may have been less, but felt twice that long) has Ms. Stiles seated on a puffy chair with a giant stylized pillow on her head and right arm as she slowly (way way too slowly) looks for the most comfortable way to sit. I nearly laughed and/or walked out. The piece takes a tremendous amount of effort on Ms. Stiles part and I applaud her commitment. But though there are some interesting shapes and cadences to be had mid-floor, overall there is very little of compelling interest. I’ve seen a fair amount of contemporary dance of late and I’m realizing how very difficult it is to come up with something compelling AND original (then again, the same could be said about any of the creative mediums).