Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of you are shivering
in an anticipatory dread. We understand, we really do; but
there is no reason why you should allow the crass commercial
debasement of the notions of love, intimacy and affectionate
connection clogging the broadcast airwaves to terrorize
you. This year, instead of merely huddling alone on your
couch with a 12-pack of Smirnoff Ice and a box of Oreos,
spend the evening preparing to go to Hudson on Saturday
to revel in the emotional openness and unconditional acceptance
offered by installation artist Kathe Izzo.
Izzo has issued an invitation—to everyone—to come view the
continuation of her installation piece Crush, which
was first shown at Boston’s ONI gallery. At the former Lee
Musselman Gallery on Warren Street in Hudson, Izzo will
“build some kind of temple/fort in the gallery,” and every
other night or so from Feb. 15 to March 1, she’ll invite
a crush to spend the evening and an overnight with her.
Her guests represent a full spectrum of possible crush objects—“art
crushes, crushes on people I have never met, someone I am
working on seducing, someone I don’t know, various loved
ones like yourself, etc.”—and the possibilities of interaction
are undefined. The guests are encouraged to bring items
to the space and actively contribute to its shape and character.
“Whatever happens,” the artist has written, “is important
and creates a wavelike redistribution of energy that affects
the room and therefore the planet.”
The point, Izzo says, is that “we, on the food of this love—even
though we don’t really know each other—can build this together.”
Take that, Hallmark.
Kathe Izzo’s Crush will kick off with an opening
reception on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the former Lee Musselman
Gallery (608 ½ Warren St., Hudson). The reception, which
runs from 6 to 9 PM, will feature DJ Sal of New York City’s
House of Pleasure. Crush can be viewed through March
1, Fri-Sun, 6 AM-9 AM and 11 AM-5 PM. Also by chance and
appointment. For more information, 822-9975.
Saratoga Theatre Project doesn’t beat around the bush when
it comes to discussing its ambitious mission.
The press release for the group’s inaugural production announces,
“Saratoga Theatre Project is dedicated to investigating
the psychological impact of dreams, desires, madness, imagination,
myth and ritual on the individual and collective experience.
We do this by examining the verbal and visual history of
these ideas on stage . . .[and] how societal and physical
limitations influence our individual perceptions of the
So, a Neil Simon maybe? Not bloody likely.
As their public debut, STP has chosen a play from the pen
of an author whose biography neatly fits that exacting thesis
as much as his plays. Jean Genet’s The Maids, which
portrays the role-playing of two domestics as they ape the
cruelty of their abusive employer by abusing one another,
is a biting satire of the ritualized brutality of regimented
and hierarchical social structures. Genet was well-schooled
in such cruelty and in the specifics of societal and physical
limitations: He grew up in a series of homes for juvenile
delinquents, and as an adult was in and out of prison. So
much did he come to positively identify himself as an outsider
and agitator that he left Hitler’s Germany, where the Frenchman
had briefly settled, because he felt that among such institutionalized
criminality, he no longer had individuality: “If I steal
here,” he wrote, “I accomplish no special act that could
help me to realize myself. I merely obey the habitual order
of things. I do not destroy it.”
Saratoga Theatre Project will perform Jean Genet’s The
Maids at the Arts Center Theatre (Spring Street and
Broadway, Saratoga Springs) on Saturday (Feb. 15) and Sunday
(Feb. 16) at 8 PM and 7 PM respectively; also Feb. 22 at
8 PM and Feb. 23 at 7 PM. Tickets are $7, $4 seniors and
students. For more information or reservations, 692-8426
wanted to learn how to contradance? If you can walk and
count to eight, and know your left from your right, you
can. And if you head to the Dance Flurry Festival in Saratoga
beginning tomorrow (Friday) and continuing throughout the
weekend, you will have numerous chances to do so.
In its 16th year, Dance Flurry is a weekend festival for
dancers and music lovers to enjoy dancing, performances,
workshops, crafts and more. It is open to adults, teens
and families of all experience levels. According to the
press release, “Dance Flurry participants actively embrace
and celebrate a variety of cultures from around the world.”
Contradance (or contredanse) is a folk dance in which couples
face each other in two lines or in a square; you can also
try your hand (or foot) at clogging, waltzing, hiphop, belly
dance, tango, swing, lindy, Salsa, modern, country &
western, Victorian, polka and more. There are classes in
dance from many different cultures including African, Scandinavian,
Scottish, Irish, Israeli, Balkan, Native American, Dutch
and more. You can take a yoga class or a predance stretch
class. The festival’s organizers are expecting more than
4,000 attendees and more than 600 performers including musicians,
dance teachers, callers, dance performers and storytellers.
The musical entertainment includes Alex Torres and the Latin
Kings, Commander Cody, local fiddler George Wilson, and
Barachois (pictured), a multi-instrumentalist quartet from
Prince Edward Island.
Dance Flurry offers participatory dance and music instruction,
parties and performance sessions including late-night dance
parties on Friday and Saturday; at any given hour there
are between six and 13 simultaneous workshops, performances,
dance parties and impromptu jams taking place at several
locations in downtown Saratoga Springs.
The festival takes place tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 14) from
7 PM to 2 AM, Saturday (Feb. 15) from 9 AM to 2 AM, and
Sunday (Feb. 16) from 9 AM to 6:30 PM. Admission varies
daily, and information can be obtained by calling 292-0133
or visiting www.danceflurry.org, where you can also find
a full schedule of events.