The Learning Process as Art Process

July 7, 2013

This week in the River to River Festival, Wally Cardona submits to a dance expert who will teach him how to dance in a particular way. The chosen person is French baroque dancer Jean-Christophe Paré. It’s part of a series he’s calling The Set Up, designed to pull him out of his comfort zone.

According to my conversation with him in this “Choreography in Focus,” it will certainly do that. With luck, it will also provide a goodly dosage of entertainment value. But the main idea is for Cardona to adopt the vulnerability of a learner. He will not study up on French baroque dance; he will just come as a beginner—with an open mind and body. One of the things I found ironic during our conversation is that he now has great respect for “masters” just when he is trying to avoid becoming one himself.


The Set Up
is a collaboration with Jennifer Lacey. I admired his previous piece with her, TOOL IS LOOT (2011), especially his solo that came out of that. Happily, Jonathan Bepler, who composed the music for that piece is also on board for this piece.

The Set Up:
This Tuesday through Thursday at 5:30. To find out more about it, click here.