06 March, 2011

7 March - B-Girl Bouillabaisse

LAUNCHPROJECTS - Art in its most authentic form can manifest spontaneously. Seemingly out of nowhere and with a galvanizing effect on contemporary culture, the case at hand occurred on a Staten Island Ferry with a formally ballet-dancer-gone-rogue. This story is the perfect kick-off to Thursday's opening at LAUNCHPROJECTS with artist / fashion collaborative Tete de Veau. The night will include performance art, post-war reel-to-reel audio, haute couture, and live models in gowns of reclaimed camping materials and fur...
The New York Times Magazine featured an article yesterday on Anne Marsen, an early 20-something dancer who grew up in a competitive ballet school in New Jersey. As described by Paul Tough of the New York Times, Anne was still recovering from a high-anxiety childhood and "the ever-accelerating pressure to be the best and skinniest and en pointe-iest girl in class. Since dropping out of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia a year earlier, she had gone rogue, dance-wise, taking three or four classes a day from studios all over New York City — jazz, modern, tap, salsa, flamenco, belly-dancing, break- dancing, West African, pole dancing, capoeira — borrowing gestures and movements and boiling them all down into her own unique B-girl bouillabaisse."
Her world collided with that of Jason Krupnick, who was hired to create a promotional video with dancers for footware. He posted an ad for dancers on Craigslist in exchange for slices of pizza. He was enthralled with her unique moves, used her in that video, and and six months later called her to collaborate again for a video for D.J. Girl Talk's latest album All Day, "a stew of samples lifted from 373 songs and recombined into a chaotic, propulsive mix. As Krupnick listened to the album, it struck him that Girl Talk makes music the way Anne Marsen makes dance."
Marsen danced for 71 minutes, completely improvised. She is brilliant and hysterical and "weird and joyous, popping with youth and energy. At first, Marsen looks more like an enthusiastic and slightly dorky amateur than a trained dance pro. She wears regular tennis shoes and worn gray cords and an oversize, multicolored jacket, and at one point she falls off the railing of an escalator. It’s not until a minute or so in, as she twirls and gyrates through the ferry’s upper level, staring down the camera with a sly smile on her face as sleepy commuters pretend not to notice, that you start to suspect that you’re watching something more than a little magical."
Anne and Jason are enjoying mini-celebrity status with their shared talents and their pure joy for what they do. An undeniable work of performance art, Anne is raw and talented and a thrill to watch. Even when she falls off the escalator. I will leave the words to the New York Times and the moves to Anne. Check out the Marsen Magic below - enjoy!

images: video stills by Jason Krupnick