Friday, May 23, 2008

Cosmic Spelunker Bootleg

Chad Parenteau, host of Stone Soup Poetry posted the following video of Cosmic Spelunker Theater's May 19th reunion show to YouTube:

The video was shot without a tripod using the video function of Chad's digital camera-- and covers nine minutes and thirty-three seconds close to the beginning of our show (some of our "Zanni stage management" is cut off.) Astute students of the history of mime will notice that James and I perform Étienne Decroux's figures of Drinking in Twenty-Six Moves and prisé et posé ("To Take and To Give") as Bill recites his poem, "Frail Dog."

Performing together as a trio for the first time in over five years was certainly and interesting experience, and it was interesting to see how well we gel as a troupe the moment we are confronted with an audience, even when performing in the cramped conditions of a venue that typically presents poetry. Indeed, the actual stage area that Out of the Blue afforded us was far less space than we rehearsed in. The entire second half of our show was barely rehearsed, and had a largely improvised feel, though it was based on segments from Waltzing to War a show that James and I had last performed together in 2005. Will there be more Cosmic Spelunker Theater in the future? Unknown as of yet. We will see.

It is interesting that I have yet to sit down and learn how to make active use of services like YouTube when such technology is an ideal distribution system for a performing artist such as myself. In 2001 and 2002 when Cosmic Spelunker was first taking form in a rehearsal space, I had been reading such histories of punk-rock as Steven Blush's American Hardcore: A Tribal History and Mark Andersen's and Mark Jenkins' Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk Rock in the Nation's Capital which had inspired me to think of Cosmic Spelunker as a punk rock band: If I didn't know how to talk to theatres, then I relentlessly found alternative venues for our performances, designed all of our posters, and posted them myself. Of course, given those tactics, rather than thinking of CST as a "power-trio" along the lines of Cream, I should have thought in terms of The Minutemen.

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