Review: Michelangelo Drawing Blood @ Sherman
How important is a muse to an artist? Is he or she nearly the embodiment of inspiration or just holding up mirrors to the greatness of the artist?
We see here the relationship of Michelangelo and a nude male model that was so important to his drawings and other art. They danced and maintained a relationship that seethed with homoerotic overtones and respect for one and other. I found it strange that Michelangelo would dance here as well. The model must show the form and function of the human body in movement, but the artist should observe. A certain type of life drawing where the model doesn't stop moving.
I wondered what type of audience this would bring in, contemporary dance fans, art students... gay men? Granted the nudity was pleasant to watch as we could see just how great an artist would construct the male form. Rome-born Stefano Giglioni is a fine specimen of a man and made the perfect Michelangelo model. He gave a bow at the end in a toga, which seemed curious. It suited him well though. Watching, you realise how much a sculpted male body can inspire. I almost expected students to get out their pencils and pull up theirs thumbs to measure the model, like I've seem them do.
Charlie Barber has written a new score for period instruments and percussion, with voices also. He constructed a highly religious landscape and fused the old and new instruments in ways that couldn't be deemed possible. We heard the viola da gamba, bass recorder (which looks like a giant pepper mill) and the theorbo, a large stringed lute. Even a male soprano was there, singing praises in what I assumed was Latin.
For most of this, it's rested on the music to keep our attention as the dancers went off stage. There was also video, which was displayed onto a mock stone sculpture of male nudes. We saw animations of drawings of the male figure, giving it the appearance of movement. A great deal of smoke was used in the production to mimic I assume incense in a church. As you arrived into the auditorium, you were greeted with this most misty of settings.
This was a strange experience, yet I want more. Considering I don't see much contemporary dance, I will try and see more.
IMAGE: Sound Affairs