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IMPRESSIONS: "Specific Ocean"

IMPRESSIONS: "Specific Ocean"
Theo Boguszewski

By Theo Boguszewski
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Published on November 3, 2012

Sound Makes Art

IMPRESSIONS: People Get Ready/Steven Reker’s Specific Ocean

New York Live Arts
October 18th-20th, 2012

Theodora Boguszewski for The Dance Enthusiast

Steven Reker, dancer and musician, is the driving force behind People Get Ready, a band which creates “sonic landscapes through the interaction of bodies and analog technology.”

Tonight, the band (Steven Reker, Luke Fasano, James Rickman and Jen Goma) generates movement using their music, which includes songs from their debut album recently released by Brassland Records. Reker started to develop Specific Ocean in 2009 at the Kitchen’s Dance and Process series, and it was performed in its entirety at the Kitchen in 2011.

At first glance, the cast of Specific Ocean looks like your typical group of hipsters, though maybe slightly more exuberant than a random selection off the streets of Williamsburg. Seven performers dressed in skinny jeans, lace-up shoes and plaid gallop across the stage with playful energy reminiscent of musical theater groups.


People Get Ready ; Photo Ian Douglas

Reker himself opens the evening with a dynamic solo, his energy onstage indicative of his driving role in People Get Ready. When he isn’t performing, Reker sports an enormous grin coupled with a Jagger-esque head bob. His presence, dynamic and enthralling, invites our attention even when he is not at the center of action.

The hour-long show consists of a compilation of songs, similar to what one might experience at a rock concert. With each track comes a series of brief dreamlike scenes incorporating dance and music in such a way that the two disciplines appear one and the same: there is no telling where the music ends and the dance begins. The music shifts from pulsing beats and catchy melodies to sparse dissonance. A concern with visual structure is also a critical element of the evening. Bodies, instruments and even pieces of the stage itself are props that create shifting sculptures.




People Get Ready ; Photo Ian Douglas

Unconventional use of instruments and other materials are central. In one instance, a male artist performs a solo as his electric guitar hangs down from his side. As he moves, his guitar sways and the instrument hits the his body and the floor, creates an unusual kind of music. At another point, two performers rip panels from the floor and playfully use them to create a series of echoing reverberations. This appears entirely improvised.

Specific Ocean takes multidisciplinary collaboration to a new level. Reker and People Get Ready’s explorations with sound cleverly challenge the borders of dance, music, theater and visual art while fully immersing us in the experiment. I feel part of a huge magical, mysterious circus.





People Get Ready ; Photo Ian Douglas







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