A portrait solo, choreography by Bill Young, performed by Priscilla Newell
First performed at the Regard du Cygne, Paris, Novembre 2012
« Cross the Bay Bridge and turn right, continue 3000 miles ; cross the George Washington Bridge and turn right. You’re there.
Thirty years. Travel from San Francisco to New York, 1980, where each of us discovered our life in dance. Dancing together, the Kitchen and St Marks and the Armenian Cultural Center, a world of lofts and secret places and little money but Oh ! so much dance, everywhere, the excitement of being there, exactly where you want to be, the door opening on a new way to see life. Einstein and that Malanga photograph, those feet and a laugh, Jones’ Beach. Watching the stars in a Montana sky… « but let Bill get the taxi ! ».
This solo is a gift from one dancer to another, a gesture of affection for all these years of dance friendship, memories of dances and an epoch shared, where there may have been innocence but most certainly there was fire. The need to dance. And the immense pleasure of growing old in dance. »
« … In Summer dress, pastoral, all in white, carrying a basket in her hand and wearing a straw hat, from Italy or elsewhere, Priscilla carries out a series of mini-actions, sometimes close to visual gags (the lights going out as soon as the dancer enters ; backpedalling in the air ; suddenly collapsing to the floor ; unexpected vocalisations ; bottle of Jim Beam… hidden in the basket of the « Kentucky Girl »… (She) evolves in th space graciously, clothed in elegant pants, like (Lucinda) Childs’ dancers, twirls airily, like a Dervish, changing direction, filling the espace with ease. The most lovely and intense moment of the solo is underscored by an excerpt from « Pale Blue Eyes », a bittersweet ballad composed and sung by Lou Reed, from the Velvet Underground album 1969 (« Sometimes I feel so happy sometimes I feel so sad… The fact that you are married only proves you’re my best friend but it’s truly truly a sin »)…
Photographs by Éva Bernard and Jean Gros-Abadie, all rights reserved