RAINER, Yvonne: CHURNER, Rachel (ed.)
Revisions: Essays by Apollo Musagète, Yvonne Rainer, and Others
Yvonne Rainer has long investigated the ways in which movement can be a political act in and of itself—be it on the stage, on the screen, or at the lectern. In Revisions, Rainer pushes her interest in embodied activism to a new arena: what she calls the “rant dance.”
This volume includes the final iteration of Rainer’s latest rant dance, entitled “A Truncated History of the Universe for Dummies.” This performance piece evolved in live presentations in Dublin, Stockholm, and New York before being expanded and adapted in written form here. In this now-completed work, the Rainer mobilizes her rage and bafflement at contemporary political events through the guise of Apollo, Leader of the Muses.
Revisions also includes a compilation of emails and diary entries that provide a real-time textual account of Rainer’s process of creating and workshopping a dance. “Pedagogical Vaudeville 3” reveals Rainer’s consistent interest in reworking and reconsidering material across multiple mediums, formats, and contexts, and offers an unprecedented glimpse at the working methods of one of this century’s preeminent dance artists. In addition, a wide-ranging interview with Douglas Crimp provides context for her origins in dance and her return to the form in 2000. Rainer has also written a brief text on her reprisal of “Parts of Some Sextets” (1965/2019) which debuted in November 2019, and dancer and Yale professor Emily Coates reflects on the process of reconstructing the dance from archival materials.
Bookended with an introduction by artist and scholar Gregg Bordowitz and an analysis of Rainer’s “AG Indexical with a Little Help from H.M.” by dance historian Anna Staniczenko, the assembled texts serve not only as a revision of the conventional understanding of five decades of Rainer’s production, but also as a timely manual for performance as an act of resistance. [publisher’s note]