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In your own career, and that of the SITI Company, you've achieved a lot of success at this point. And you've been working with some of the same collaborators within the company for a long time now. There must be a lot that's changed for all of you during that time. Looking again at that blog entry in which you're talking about a new narrative, do you feel like, as a company you're headed toward a new trajectory?
Absolutely, and it's at such a moment that I can't even articulate what the answer is. It's definitely present in a big way.
More so than in the past?
What are the projects you're looking forward to? Or are do you stay focused on where you are at the moment?
I'm always thinking ahead. We're working on a production of The Trojan Women
with a new adaptation by Jocelyn Clarke. We're looking at a new Chuck Mee
play called soot and spit
. And we're looking at the Le Sacre de Printemps
, it's the 100th anniversary coming up and we're looking at how to make a piece about that. We're looking at The Visit
by [Friedrich] Dürrenmatt. We're also looking at a new take on A Christmas Carol
Who are some of the American artists, who are not affiliated with the company, whose work you're really excited by?
I'm always a huge fan of Robert Woodruff
. He's about to do Dostoevsky at the Baryshnikov Center
. I was particularly blown away by what Marina Abromovic did at MoMA
The whole exhibition, or her new piece in particular?
The whole thing. The whole idea of re-performance and what it means.
What do you think that impulse speaks to? In some way your pieces at DTW are re-performance.
Yeah, they are. It's the idea of embodying ideas that can pass through time. Martha Graham
is an amazing example. I mean, you watch those dancers dance those pieces she made when she was a young woman and you see their lives transformed by performing those roles, by jumping that high. It's very moving.
The other thing that knocked me out was "This Progress" by Tino Seghal at the Guggenheim
. There's something about presence, about performative presence, which they are dealing with,that is so mind-boggling to me right now. It's not just about bringing the past forward, but about the presence. And, you know, the name of Abramovic's piece was "The Artist is Present."
I find it interesting that you, as a director, working on something like American Document, would be interested in taking on and re-examining a finished piece, even taking some of the original choreography.
That's exactly the point. That's what's so fascinating about it. I mean with Martha [Graham], that she's dead and those shapes exist and you can put them on—it's more interesting than inventing something new. It's why I resist "avant-garde." I've never been interested in taking on something new, but rather putting on the clothes of the past and giving people a voice.
But then there are the tweaks and changes that naturally come out of the rehearsal process. I guess that's what's fascinating to me—the "same but different" aspect. What about that is attractive to you?
It's exactly that, the same only different. When you try to be accurate, you never will be, and that's interesting. I actually have to go to rehearsal.
(photo credit: Michael Brosilow; Actor: Will Bond)