video, antique suitcase, silk
dance improvisation by Mary Anne Santos Newhall
mask by Nancy Reyner
music by Joan La Barbara
Mary Anne Santos Newhall is an historian, choreographer and dancer who is one of the foremost artist to reconstruct and interpret 20th century dances in jeopardy of being lost. (Many were never captured in their entirety on film and currently exist only in photographs or limited Labanotation.)
For this improvisation Newhall is wearing the mask she used for the reconstructed of German expressionist choreographer and dance pioneer Mary Wigman’s Hexantanz (Witch Dance). In this dance Wigman’s interest in humans relationship to the cosmos evoked the primitive ritualism linked to a non- western other. This mask like creature also may evoke a supernatural being transformed into human form, similar to an aspect of Noh theatre.