NAMELESS FOREST

This is a combined review from me and one of our readers Billy who kindly alerted me about this performance. I caught it in its last week. (It only had 6 performances in 2 weekends!)

The Kitchen was the venue of Dean Moss’  Nameless Forest, in collaboration with Korean sculptor and poet Sungmyung Chun which was inspired by Chun’s emotionally fragile figurative installations, the multidisciplinary three-part performance work included diary fragments and imagery by photojournalist Mike Kamber and neon effects from visual artist Gandalf Gavan. It featured dancers Kacie Chang, Eric Conroe, Aaron Hodges, Pedro Jiménez, DJ McDonald and Sari Nordman. It has three parts: the first part is a kind of journey to Sumyung’s world. The 2nd part, the narrative is Mike Kamber’s diary entries. The third is a ritual where the chosen audience who participated onstage were asked questions about themselves.

I went to see the show without any clue what it was about.  In the first few minutes, my reaction was “What the hell is going on?” And as I put things together, the choreography, the installation, the sculpture…. it was a nice feeling as I watch and put pieces together one at a time.  What I got at the end might not be what Moss and his team meant but the fact that it was emotionally satisfying and interesting….it was worth the time! The role of the audience in the performance experience added to it. It was nice to see their reactions, spontaneously as they participated in the show.I got the sense of a community formed among the participants at the end.

Toward the last 15 minutes of the show, all the male cast members took of their clothes. Aaron Hodges spent the most time in the nude. For more than ten minutes, they danced au naturel.  And Eric Conroe is a sight to behold!

Check out production pictures here: http://contemporaryperformance.org/photo/photo/listForContributor?screenName=2ittvv3is9f4r

From our reader Billy: “I went to see the dance show “Nameless Forest” at the Kitchen last night, specifically because I had seen a picture and write up in Time Out, indicating full frontal male nudity, and one of the guys in the main picture was, in my opinion, beyond hot. I generally don’t even ENJOY modern dance pieces. But I thought “ok, if I get to see THAT gay naked, then I’m there. Call that what you will. I wasn’t going to leer and press my program into my lap, if you know what I mean. But I did want to admire that beautiful man, and enjoy the perk of seeing him nude. Well, let me tell you, it ALL exceeded my expectations. First of all, this man nude should be required viewing for every gay man. My God, he’s stunning. It’s a study in absolute perfection. But guess what: in the process, I saw the first modern dance piece that I LIKED!! I absolutely was riveted to the piece from start to finish. I may have come in to see that dancer nude, but I walked out with a lot more. ” 

More pictures slides about the show here:

Too bad their performances were so limited here in New York! Wish they have extended it!  If you want to catch this show, here’s their schedule:

Jan 26 – Jan 28, 2012 San Francisco, CA  Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Apr 5 – Apr 6, 2012 College Park, Maryland Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the Kogod Theatre

Check out their website: http://www.mappinternational.org/

Nudity Rating: 5

Check out other NYC shows with male nudity: http://currentnycshows.blogspot.com/

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