One of the most fun things about this show is that it is not only a chance to reminisce, but it’s actually an imperative part of the process. We’ve mentally gone through the last ten years of dances (and soon we’ll be going over the video footage as well!), imagining what will translate well (or strangely) onto new casts, what feels important not to miss, what we can excerpt, and how to represent the arc of that decade.
While we’ve had some arguments about which dances to include (it wouldn’t be Mad King Thomas without at least one argument) one clear answer was the very first dance we ever made: Pomo Looks Like Porno. The dance began as a drunken dream outside of Elizabeth Lostetter and Amanda Healy’s apartment in 2004, envisioned as Tara getting married to Prince with Monica and me as wedding bells. Over the course of the semester, it slowly morphed into a 10-minute performance that essentially encapsulated the last four-years of our Macalester education. (I’m sorry to report that Prince and the wedding quickly disappeared.) That dance was practically our thesis, a place to process post-modernism, gender, the Gaze, performativity, and complicity. Our very first experiment with audience participation was asking everyone to sit in their underwear.
We remounted this dance as part of our fringe show the year after graduating and haven’t really looked at it since. (It is, after all, on a VHS tape.) But the themes from that first dance still motivate our current work, and the sense of vulnerability and exploration that characterized that first piece have carried through as well, not to mention the use of dance as cultural analysis, pop references, and tongue-in-cheek vulgarity. (Not that underwear seems so vulgar now, but you have to start somewhere.)
I am so excited to see how Pomo Looks Like Porno will appear in our 10th Anniversary show. Probably it will show it’s age, and our youth, but that is perhaps part of the joy of remounting it. I have about 5 different dream casts for this dance; who indeed, can be baby-faced Mad King Thomas? In some ways, the seed for our 10th anniversary show was already in this first piece: we had a doppelganger for each of us, shadowing our young selves.
I’m also excited that we will be documenting this anniversary show in all it’s full glory, with more than a shitty camcorder on a tripod recording a VHS for posterity. Ben McGinley is the other seed for this piece. He once wrote of Mad King Thomas, “…they are their work. You couldn’t set a MKT piece on any three other women and have it work the way it should.” And so here we go, setting our work on all sort of men and seeing if it can still work the way it should. We’re stoked that Ben will be filming the show as well as some interviews with us and our mentors. If we make our stretch goal, he’ll be editing it into a fabulous mini-documentary that will be available to everyone who backed the kickstarter. My 21-year-old self doesn’t even know what vimeo is- can’t even comprehend this awesomeness!
If your current self is even half as excited as baby-Mad-King-Thomas, please help us make our goal! Back our kickstarter and be part of making the 10th Anniversary into one of those new-fangled moving pictures!