Whenever I re-set Drop Down, I spend time convincing dancers that less is more, that they don’t need to articulate with their faces or bodies an overt emotionalism, that the content is written into the form. This duet is exacting, difficult and awkward. The dancers’ bodies are fused at every step and the steps tend to feel like an obstacle course. The arduousness is part of the point of the dance; intimacy is hard, and treacherous, work.
There’s an extended floor section that can feel like raucous lovemaking, or rape, or the fierce, ungainly struggle for equality. To me, all of it is part of our collective experience of relations between men and women. I’ve seen Drop Down danced from the woman’s point of view and from the man’s, danced with the wild heat of adolescence and with the subtlety and coolness of long knowledge, all depending on the balance of the couple interpreting it. Drop Down is a dance distilled enough down to choreographic essence that it can be flexed in many directions and still hold its shape.
Video of Drop Down edited by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang
Dancers: Leslie Kraus and Adrian Clark, and Natasha Johnson and Joseph Hernandez of ODC/Dance.