kid subjunctive by Funsch Dance | Review

Words by Maxine Flasher-Duzgunes

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Things began before beginning…dancers danced behind oblivious raised programs…house lights buzzed. Was the dance in the adjusting curtains and the diagonal warm-up jogs? Was the dance in the placement of the microphone or in its rendezvous with a dancer’s pair of lips? When folks finally muted their chitchat, hovering over the sound of bare feet brushing against marley…was it also the dance?

The words “don’t say anything” raised ears, as if directed outwards, eerily accusing us of daydreaming with the start of the dance. And suddenly the stage resembled an invisible jungle gym, its kid players taste-testing its structures in randomised motions. The movement of the four dancers (including choreographer Christy Funsch) appeared compartmentalised, like the organized rooms and hallways of a building but at times rogue, unexplained runaways.

The dance itself described creation, the incomprehensible blurbs of the performers bleeding into the mic — “me me me me” — a gestural glossary referenced by an occasional synchronisation but otherwise abandoned in roundabout, lackadaisical sequences.

Photos by Robbie Sweeney.

As in an improvisational score, the dance demanded attention, to the body’s pathways with and without others, and its ticks front and back. Before beginning, things began. The dance, both in and outside itself, reminded me about how makers loop-de-loop through decisions like rollercoaster routes, unsure of which and whose take priority over another. A choreographer might string beads like they do dances, selecting and de-selecting, sorting and tossing, accepting what doesn’t make it in exchange for what does. 

kid subjunctive twisted and turned, a piece to sit and wonder about the why and the what of it. Dancers in day-to-day clothes, constructing themselves through linear sets of gesture and into an organism with a mind of its own. 

kid subjunctive premiered 08-10 September 2022 in a double bill with Nol Simonse and Jim Cave at CounterPulse in San Francisco, California. 

Performance, conversation, movement and sound generation: Christy Funsch, Emily Hansel, Zoe Huey, Peiling Kao, Jenna Marie, and Phoenicia Pettyjohn 

Music: Lou Reed

Lighting Design: Jim Cave.