Sunday, 17 July 2011

Stairway to Heaven

It's sunday evening and i have spent most of this weekend thinking about how next week will play out...and finding a space in which we are going to perform. you remember the pretty picture of the arts space Tomaz had originally located for our performance. It turns out that there will be an exhibition opening in that very same space on that very same day we are due to perform. A rather large, but artistic, spanner in the works. I have to give him credit as Tomaz has been pulling out all the stops and pulling in a few favours to find a new venue. I could see this was becoming a bit of a stressful situation for him as we visited different spaces that weren't quite right in my opinion...or were just too dirty.

The road leading up the M50 gallery complex
 complete with Wall of be demolished in near the near future

We visited a 2nd gallery space owned by the same person who runs the original space we had looked at. It was a nice space and clean but simply to small to work in. No go! Our next option was an disused space owned by another friend of Tomaz's (pics below). Quite a funky space but super dirty with a slightly pot-holy floor. I could imagine the dancers being a bit! We put that one on the back burner.

What seemed to be the final option were a couple of spaces housed within the Wu Jiao Chang 800 Art Space in the north-east of the city. We had some reservations about taking the performance quite far out of the central part of town. Shanghai is big. Getting to this space takes a little more effort for a potential audience member. However, this is just the first phase of our collaboration so it's important that we get a good performance together in a space thats going to work and feel comfortable. So...the first place we looked at (through a crack in the door, so no pics i'm afraid) was quite simply lush. A large, clean, airy and beautifully simple gallery space. Tomaz had shown me pictures of a performance in this setting. You could easily see how a performance space like that can add to a show. I for one would have been more than happy to perform there but again securing the space was proving difficult.

outside at the 800 Art Space

A 2nd option in this complex was to do it outdoors in an area directly above the first space we investigated. This was basically a floor/roof with multiple glass squares. Again very dope but just a bit too lumpy and bumpy for the work we are doing. It would be a shame to have to put dance floor over the glass tiles as that is really the main feature and why you want to perform there in the first place. I tutted a few times and we moved on.

The last choice in this complex was another unused and quite large soon-to-be gallery area. This was cool...and it had pillars, which had been etched into my mind during the creative process after thinking we would perform at the original spot in M50. I was still pining for the first space we saw but i could see Tomaz was keen to use this area. I was starting to come round as i began to see the potential of showing here. It was dirty and i made a deal with Tomaz that we would pay somebody to come here and clean it properly if we were going to use it. He agreed and so we are now sorted for a performance spot. I wonder if we will need air-con as well....hmmm

Tomaz...a pillar of the community.

I had had a little break session at a club on Sat night with Alex. A place in the french concession area called Dada. The floor was dirty (which is today's theme), the club was dark but the music was good and there were some bboys in the house. It made me think of the days when my crew would break at joints like the venue for Scratch...niiiice. The circle came to an end when i hit an incredibly funky beat...and some dudes beer bottle which then smashed on the floor. That was my exit. So after breaking on sat and then pounding the streets with Tomaz on sun i figured i would sample something which the locals do very well here. It was time for some massage. Now i'm sure there are many happy endings going on but i was looking for the rough stuff. I had been told by Uma to visit the massage houses on Donghu Road. When i got there i just opted for the first one i came across. I climbed the stairs to the dragon fly massage house and asked them if they could hurt me. They obliged nicely. At first i was told i would be getting dealt with by a man. No problem. So when i woman entered my room i was thinking, did i miss something here? I was a little dubious that i would get the level of attention i was seeking as she was quite wee...but she packed a punch! She got all the right spots and got knee deep with some elbow action. Brilliant. I got some free slippers to boot. As my childhood hero once said...i'll be back.

There could be some slight embellishment going on here...

Don't be misled by their smiles...they'll hurt you then take your money
...but strangely you'll fell better for it.

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