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May 3, 1969


Smell of boredom is unmistakable


S - - t. Okay, so it's a dirty word. Lenny Bruce used to say it frequently, and it was funny, and illuminative.

Yvonne Rainer used it as one element of her "Performance Fractiopns for the West Coast," the first part of last night's happenings at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She accompanied it with a good old fashioned nice, naive, dirty movie, a two people with their cloths off movie, playing with a ball on a chesterfield.She recited it in her peculiarly unmusical voice., relating it to movement, and, like most of the rest of her performance, it was pompous, tedious, labored overstatement of the obvious.

Miss Rainer is an interesting woman. At her previous workshops, one at Simon Fraser, the other one at UBC workshops for participants— she showed, very vividly, the molecular structure of people in space, the naturally evolving patterns which people' moving free in space, involuntarily create. But in performance at the art gallery, using dancers to make her message— the message of the minimal artist which, applied to dance, seems to be that dance does not need music, that dance is an art form in itself, and that she will not in anyway compromise her art by involvement with other media— she did, first of all, create a brand-new medium, one which has so far escaped other artists.
Smell is a difficult medium to work with, but after nearly three-quarters of an hour of football game intermission choreography there was a brand new smell in the gallery. Boredom, unmistakable , hung rancid in the air.

The dancers or rather participants, for there were obviously few trained bodies involved in the performance, were enjoying them selves, walking loose, feeling their own two footed dignity.

But the patterns of movement shown by her structures could much more rewardingly be observed by watching the lunch hour pedestrian traffic from the top of the hotel Vancouver, or from Seymour Street walkway of the Bay. When she herself danced there was poetry and magic in her body, but even then despite her protestations of no music, there was an easily discernible rhythm directing her movements, a head rhythm which even though it was inaudible to the audience, was undeniably a consistent conventual music form.

Which may explain why Glen Lewis' piece for the second half of the evening became a paper orgy, a tearing, ripping, total involvement of the audience which was a long way what the piece developed in its original form. That word? SNOT. Just a bit labored?


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