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Monday, May 3, 2010

Original on May 3, 2010

After seeing Men Think They Are Better Than Grass, I was trying to explain the concept the next afternoon at a barbeque: "It's interpretative dance! About the environment!" As people stared skeptically, I gestured wildly with my Corona, "AND IT'S AWESOME!" In the sober light of Monday, I wouldn't phrase it precisely like that, but it certainly is awesome (to continue my inebriated terminology). Men Think They Are Better Than Grass is modern dance layered over the frame of ecologist W.S. Merwin's poetry (spoken by actors including Bob Ernst, Ellen Sebastian Chang, and Sean San Jose) and choreographer Deborah Slater takes care not to bludgeon you over the head with the message. Enhanced by text, animation, video, and an original score, the dancing is strong and fluid - the dancers integrate and separate organically as the stage environment around them alters, thanks to a Wikipedia-like web component. Art and technology blend to form images that reflect the changing of the world around us and serve as a reminder that we might want to help preserve some of those polar bears.