The Old Normal

Amazing Grace in Olney Hymns

I was annoyed Tuesday when the Biden-Harris tribute to the 400,000 fallen included that old, mm…, warhorse “Amazing Grace.” I muttered to my wife Andrea Carney, “Well, as long as they don’t trot out ‘Hallelujah’…,” which of course they did. “Amazing Grace” showed up time and again during the inaugural spectacle. Continue reading “The Old Normal”

Portrait of Rudy Perez 4: Lingering in Spaces

Still from Stations

I do what I do because
that’s what I do, and if
I didn’t do it who would?

— Rudy Perez

In talking with Rudy Perez about his career’s performances over the last nine months (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I noticed how many took place in art spaces. Of course, by the time I met Rudy in 1980, performances—dance and otherwise—were often hosted by galleries—large and small, for-profit and non. What follows are reminiscences of such productions during the years before I left Los Angeles for Denver in 2005, including bits from our conversations earlier this month. Continue reading “Portrait of Rudy Perez 4: Lingering in Spaces”

Islands Past: Future Islands’ “Thrill”

Future Islands "Thrill" still

I remember seeing the band Future Islands on a late night show, except that I rarely watch network television. It must have been their “Seasons (Waiting On You)” from Letterman’s Late Show in 2014 before Colbert took over. I thought, “Joe Cocker lives.” And I swear I recall telling my wife Andrea about lead singer Sam Herring: “He looks like he’s about to pee his pants.” That was then. Continue reading “Islands Past: Future Islands’ “Thrill””

Everybody Dance Now 4: Time/Travel

I'm Not OK video still

This fourth edition of Everybody Dance Now involves travel in space and time, beginning with a short from Arizona filmmaker and photographer Harrison J. Bahe of Navajo Joe Films. “Xibalba” comes from the soundtrack of The Fountain (2006) composed by Clint Mansell, which also accompanies Bahe’s film. Xibalba is the Mayan underworld, which figures in The Fountain, a once-and-future picture that weaves together Mayan and Hebrew mythology, featuring a Spanish conquistador astoundingly being recognized by a native priest as the First Father, the life source. Continue reading “Everybody Dance Now 4: Time/Travel”

Portrait of Rudy Perez 2: Remain in Light

Circadian Circle photos

This is a second conversation with dancer-choreographer Rudy Perez, taking place last month on May 30. During our review of Part 1 Rudy raised a few topics that I wanted to pursue. And, of course, there had been the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day, and the reactions from coast to coast.

What follows has been lightly edited for clarity. Many thanks to Susan Perry Miick for her help with photographs. Continue reading “Portrait of Rudy Perez 2: Remain in Light”

For a Clinic Without Supervisors

Working Class Unite illustration

Comment by David Hughes: The present pandemic has inspired many performing artists: locked down, they are reinventing old works and coming up with new ones. A century ago in 1914, labor bard Joe Hill did the same from his own lockdown—a Salt Lake City jail—lifting lines from “The Internationale” and composing new ones like these from “Workers of the World, Awaken”:

If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains;
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains;
Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command stand still. Continue reading “For a Clinic Without Supervisors”