While the rest of you were all distracted with banal little events like MFNW and the (apparently awesome) Rose City Comic Con, your high-minded Mercury arts team has been steadfastly plugging away on our coverage of TBA, the city's annual showcase of world-class performance art.
Here's what we've got:
Amateur Life Coach Andrew Dickson spent a fascinating, Radiolab-worthy hour talking to an elderly gentleman who wanted to bring his dead friend's math breakthrough to a wider audience. Erik Henriksen wrote all about it.
Our writer was challenged by Nora Chipaumire's Miriam, a dance referencing gender, displacement, and African identity, and her thoughtful review grapples with why she found it difficult.
I loved Miguel Gutierrez's Heavens What Have I Done—it made the performance-about-a-performance concept feel fresh and thoughtful, with the help of intimate on-stage seating strategically deployed Marie Antoinette wig. (I'm surprised that I haven't yet heard from anyone who hated the show—certain audience members were palpably bored/irritated the night I saw it.)
Our writer struggled with Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol's wordy, Spanish-language El Rumor del Incendio—he echoes what I heard from a number of people over the weekend, which is that the show is appealing and the performers engaging, but the history-heavy script was difficult to take in via supertitle.
Ten Tiny Dances is an audience favorite because it's like a Whitman's sampler of TBA—5-10 minutes from a variety of festival artists, performing their work on a tiny stage, and if you hate any one performance, no big deal, it'll be over soon. This year saw a Spider-man, a baby goat, and Keith Hennessy saying "fuck it" and packing the stage with bodies.