Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Shifting Cornerstone

Joanna Haigood and Zaccho Dance Theatre
The Shifting Cornerstone

If you are near the corner of Mission & 3rd Street in the next few days between 12pm & 5pm, don't walk by too fast. Otherwise, you'll miss this smart & playful site-specific dance piece. I just hung out there for about 10 minutes on my lunch hour today, & it was very cool. Various characters occupy the sidewalk from the museum entrance to the corner. At 1st glance they could be ordinary people you would expect to see on the street: a gardener, a worried-looking woman in a long skirt, a street person in 2nd-hand clothes, smoking a cigarette stub. While there, I saw the gardener perch atop the wall at the corner, acrobatically balancing a planter. The woman in the skirt ran urgently along the building, clutching a set of large keys. I also spotted her standing watch above the museum entrance. Our street person wheeled around a huge empty picture frame, which had a tag reading "free" dangling from it. He caught me taking pictures of the event & cajoled me into taking pictures of him & then of other passers-by!

There's atmospheric music playing from hidden speakers. The poster frames in front of the museum display pictures of the performers themselves, so the dancers can interact with their own publicity images. There's also the fun of witnessing pedestrians taken unawares by the goings-on. I saw a homeless man settle himself down on a ledge, & I couldn't be sure that he wasn't part of the show. I think it's a pretty smart piece. One of the monitors encouraged me to come back, since the performance is on-going & different characters come & go. Another monitor admonished me to keep away from the curb, as earlier someone was almost hit by a bus. Such are the unexpected perils of sidewalk shows.

P.S. (08.21.2008)
I was by the corner again today with a friend who is studying film music composition, & he informs me that the music is from the soundtrack of To Kill a Mockingbird.

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