SummerWorks 2018 Review: Linnea Swan's Yes



Written and performed by Linnea Swan

SummerWorks Festival 2018
Theatre Centre Franco Boni Theatre
August 9-19 2018

Reviewed by Ted Fox

YES is a rebuttal of Yvonne Rainer's No Manifesto (1965), which was a reaction to the state of contemporary modern dance at that time.

Rainer was a choreographer, dancer and filmmaker and a founding member of Judson Dance Theatre, a collective of artists involved in experimentation, including dancers Twyla Tharp, Steve Paxton and Lucinda Childs.

At that time, Rainer was anti-dance and did not like anything about dance, including use of the heroic, trash imagery, camp and glamour. Swan has fun with this, like starting a piece only to have one of Rainer's "nos" enter her mind. Love her expressions when this happens. Like "no to trash imagery" re: Marie Chouinard.

Swan utilizes the entire wideness of the space as she uses a combination of mocking buffon, frenetic dance, pedestrian movement and falls.

We sit in a semi-circle. She is always moving in and out, close to us. On a video projection behind her, there are images from works like Rainer's Trio A and Nijinsky"s Rite of Spring.'

Swan, in this piece, asks if we feel alienated from work in which "dancers aren't doing anything and when they are doing something God knows why they are doing it."

You, the spectators, she adds, should not let others tell you what you should like: "Discover what yes means to you. What you value. What moves you."

A funny work eloquently delivered via her expressive body language and facial expressions.