Monday, July 24, 2006

unmapped in the news, part 2, 3, 4, etc

Now that the show is done, here's a recap of some the press coverage...

Trey Graham at the CityPaper did two posts about the show on his Fringe blog. One preview video, and one short post-show comment. Thanks Trey!!! Here's the video:

and his post-show comment is here. Since it's combined with a few other things, here's the text:

I did catch one iteration of unmapped, the 24-hour improv thing with the dancer and the electric guitarist. It's done and gone, so no point in my going on about it, but I did think one thing was interesting: I don't pretend to know much about modern dance, much less contact improvisation, but the contrasts in the piece helped make clear what it is you're meant to look for.

Here's what I mean: When Matis (the guitarist) began to move, the sharpness and the strength and the clarity of Burkholder's choices were suddenly apparent; when Burkholder twiddled with the guitar--and then Matis returned to it, extracting a series of sounds that stacked up almost architecturally through the electronic loop he had going--it was likewise clear whose strengths were being played to.

It was fun, too, to catch myself interpreting, trying to impose a story arc on a piece that I knew was being invented as I watched. Slaves to the narrative are we.
The DCist had a quick note of encouragement:
In case you were wondering, we checked in with a few people who headed out to the Warehouse last night in the wee hours to see Daniel Burkholder and Jonathan Matis doing their 24 hour long performance piece unmapped, and the pair were not cheating or anything. Kudos to you, gentlemen, for bringing a dose of unhinged ambition. We hope you have a good night's sleep tonight.
The Washington Post had a big feature in today's style section including little capsule reviews of a slew of Fringe performances from this past weekend... The good news is that they ran a huge photo of us. Glance at the print edition if you get a chance. The bad news is what they had to say about the show... Here's what Nelson Pressley had to say:
A pajama party broke out at the Warehouse Main Stage Friday night at 9 as dancer Daniel Burkholder and guitarist Jonathan Matis, both barefoot and in soft, loose outfits, improvised a roughly 30-minute show every hour on the hour for 24 hours straight. Two reports:

10 p.m. Friday: Dancer Burkholder and musician Matis start in opposite corners but gradually share the space, swap roles, jointly fiddle with the guitar and pickup that feeds back the blips and pings they tap out on the strings, or that Matis creates at one point by patting the instrument on his face like a towel.

10 a.m. Saturday: Reportedly they made it through the night with only 7 a.m. as a show with no audience, and they danced anyway. At 10 a.m. there was an audience of two, plus two very-latecomers [ed: hey, those were my parents!], watching roughly the previous night's dynamic play out again, with the inventive Burkholder dancing in exploratory circles close to the ground and the less graceful Matis moving like a man trying not to fall over. They have a silent rapport, but the guitar is the invaluable partner, swirled and shared and placed on a stool as the lads whack it delicately with sticks. Boys with toys . . .
Ok, I guess it could've been worse. In any event, we seemed to do better than many Fringe shows, in terms of getting press. So, for that we are grateful. I'll post about the actual process and more about the piece soon. I think I need a little more rest - and probably a little more distance before I can sort through it.

We had a terrific crew of volunteers who helped out with the production - talking up the show on the street outside the venue, working box office during the late-night and early-morning shifts, tending to a "commissioning club brunch" on Saturday morning, etc. We owe a huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers and crew that worked on the show. You all totally rocked.

At this point, I'm simply glad to report that we did the show - all 24 hours of it, and survived. More details coming soon! In the meantime, hope you can catch some other Fringe Festival shows... I'll be getting ready now for the release of the new Fending/Matis CD (and little tour in August), DCIC on 7/31 at Fort Reno - opening for The Evens (yay!!), and preparing for our Eigenvalues show in September. That's coming along nicely... just you wait

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