Saturday, January 17, 2009

Individual Memory: A Celebration For Hannah Weiner

Little surprises are always such a delight.

I went to the first weekend of Links Hall's When Does It Or You Begin? (Memory As Innovation) festival primarily to see Nicole LeGette's Butoh performance, which is always a riveting experience -- both LeGette and Butoh in general. I had long ago mentally connected Links Hall to dance, but have always been somewhat conscious that it's a hip little place to be. And looking at the program and the calendar ahead, it really is a cauldron of vanguard and underground performative fringe. Links Hall is a place to go to find somebody you've probably never heard of doing something you've probably never seen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's always innovative. (Including, in April, Cupola Bobber's next show, Way Out West, The Sea Whispered Me, which I stupidly forgot off my things to be excited for in 2009 list.)

The program I saw began with LeGette and then, in between readings of Weiner's poetry, moved to a short film by Abigail Child entitled Mirror World which was by turns entrancing, seductive, and overly repetitive. The program ended with a Hannah Weiner inspired 'avant garde lingerie show' which was disappointingly more silly and innocuous than one would expect. But then, as the fashion show wound down, the violist who had been very minimally accompanying it stayed on stage and broke into song -- a one woman fireball of delicacy. Everyone stopped breathing, she finished, bowed her head with a quiet 'Thank you', quickly left the stage, the lights went down, and the world burst into applause.

I went home, did a little onlinery, and discovered local violist/singer Anni Rossi, who also just so happens to have a deal with indie all-star label 4AD. You by all means need to check her out, but even more so, see her in person: she's absolutely mystifying. She's playing a free show at Schuba's on February 24. I'll be there. I hope to see you.


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