“Blackbird” or “I’d Rather Dance With You Than Talk With You” is a site/situation-adaptive performance engaging the small gestures and quiet movements of our bodies. The performers work through multiple variations of an improvisational structure, rooted in texts by Italo Calvino and Peggy Phelan. Each variation attempts to modulate the volume of the gestures using different tools: spoken gibberish, cello gibberish, movement gibberish, descriptive movement, witness testimony, amongst others. The dance is taken up in the field of the audience, and the audience is immersed in the creation of the stage. As Calvino notes, “it is a dialogue between the deaf, a conversation without a head or tail.”
“Blackbird” was originally commissioned by Design Cloud Gallery Chicago for their Spring Performance Series and first shown as a work-in-progress performance at HUB Northside in January 2013. It was reworked and adapted for UPTOWN 5 with new additions* to the cast.