siwic day 7 – war of the worlds

After yesterday’s frustrating ‘work with someone else’ circus which underlined what a megalomaniac attention-seeker I am, today was hours of sheer fucking pleasure. Today’s tasks: you have one hour to make three 15 second solos, and another hour to make a duo, then we’ll go see Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds.

First hour, three dancers, three solos and trying to be clever. Especially from the preparations for extermination last year, I have scores of tasks and ideas which never got beyond paper, or where ditched soon after, or got cut for whatever practical reasons. So, the first solo was just what I’d done before. More death metal to Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Unsatisfying.

I’ve still got a stack of DVDs from my last China visit which I haven’t watched, and spent a bare couple of minutes chapter surfing Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein in hopes of something coming up. Something did, I managed to do something new, the irony is not lost on me. I’m still on this recreate-scenes-from-movies trip, and think I’ll stick with it until something better comes up.

The second solo, 15 seconds, Jens reclining on the floor, hand around cock, voiceover of Wittgenstein’s high society artist friend (dressed in voluptuous deep crimson ball gown) saying, “How much did you get paid for your last book?”. Another scene, in counterpoint, Bertrand Russell tells Ludwig, “There is nothing like the warmth of a sated body”.

Third solo, Kristina sitting on a chair telling me why that scene in the movie on the limits of language affected her so much.

It’s not that any of this is necessarily new, but the fundamental point is after four days of being constantly clever and inventive, going through my repertoire of tricks, things were starting to get thin. The pressure of having to come up with something, in ever shorter time caused a few things to fall over today.

Nigel talked about how he sometimes uses just what the dancers do in unconscious, first responses to a task, or the endless fucking around which characterises most of any rehearsals. Both the latter two solos and the duo were just that. A kind of ‘fuck off, I don’t want to do anything clever, or invent anything, and what you just did was everything I wanted to say anyway.

The duo with Jens and Anna-Maria was just that. Firstly, I wanted to continue the Wittgenstein stuff, then I wanted to make something exceptionally dancey, then I fell asleep for a bit and woke up not wanting to move too much, so I thought maybe they could just sit in chairs and do lots of arm-partnering. So I thought, sitting with them both, I’d find some music, and put on Prince, Purple Rain as a bit of background noise in the meantime. Somehow, I don’t remember they were standing doing ballet curtain calls. That became seven minutes of the most beautiful Fontaine and Nureyev curtain calls, over and over and over.

Yeah, it’s been done before so many times. But I wasn’t being ironic or contemptuous of ballet. The best outcome would have been everyone watching going with it and yelling screaming… and it happened, and I had this moment of, “Oh! you love me! You understand me!”. And everyone was well pleased to see Jens show a bit of cock too.

Higlights of today: Hans started going weird finally, a Marlene Dietrich moment in rubber gloves and insect-repelling veil, Anna-Maria again growling like a deranged old bag-lady, very strange. The absolute awfulness of War of the Worlds. How bad is Tom Cruise? How impossibly amateur is Spielburg’s directing? How completely incomprehensible, flimsy, tatty is the script? Was this a national draft propaganda film from the army to sign up more grunts to take a bullet for Uncle Sam? Tawdry, offensive, xenophobic, vile waste of a couple of hundred million dollars.