Tonight or tomorrow, go see Cédric Andrieux, by Jérôme Bel, at the Walker. I saw Bel’s The Show Must Go On in 2004. The room was crackling with an intensity I’ve almost never felt watching a performance. People danced in the aisles! At a serious dance show!
During the talkback after the show, I learned that I could actually use all the baggage an audience brings as a choreographic tool, even though you can't possibly know what all that baggage is. Bel said he used extremely popular songs BECAUSE of the associations people would bring to each song, not IN SPITE OF them. This strategy agreed with what I knew from my competition dance days and disagreed with what I'd been learning about dance academically and artistically. It became a fundamental part of how and why I make work, and allowed me to start building a bridge across the chasm between my shiny, sexy, fairly stupid dance lessons and my newfound interest in weird, conceptual, sometimes way too unsexy art.
Justin Jones interviewed Bel, in anticipation of the show this weekend...it's pretty great! Also, you can see another of Bel's dances, Veronique Doisneau, in its entirety on YouTube. Here's the first part, to get you started: