On Tuesday, May 27th, Christine Elmo and Jmy Leary presented “80’s and 90’s on Screen - Dance Relics”, an evening of dance videos from the NYC dance scene in the 80’s and 90’s. Elmo and Leary put together about 4 hours (!!!) of rarely seen videos that included performances, films, rehearsal and interviews. Although I could not make it through the whole evening, I made it through enough of the night to enjoy Elmo’s and Leary’s curatorial endeavour. Some of the first films showed a very young Steve Paxton and a ridiculously sexy Bill T. Jones experimenting with their bodies before they became established pillars of the dance community. The videos documented works by Ishmael Houston-Jones and John Jasperse (both of whom where in the audience), as well as by Meredith Monk, Scott Heron, and other exciting artists from the NYC dance community. The evening took place in the gymnasium of the Judson Memorial Church and the energy felt electric- the gym was filled with artists, dancers, musicians and, in general, people curious and interested in the rare opportunity of seeing so many dance videos from such a recent period in history. It was great to be part of an event that paid tribute to artists who are still young and working, while recognizing the importance of two decades of modern dance still too often overshadowed by the 60’s and 70’s.
“80’s and 90’s on Screen” was part of the Movement Research Spring Festival 2008, with events/performances/classes running up to June 9, 2008.