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Havana (1980)
Photo: David Crossley

About The Solo Work

     I have created many group works of varying dimensions, but it has been my solo work that has perhaps allowed for the greatest amount of experimentation and exploration of more individual ideas.  It has also allowed me to offer a unique perspective on the role of men in today's increasingly complex society.  I am a compulsive mover and storyteller.  My work is driven from the inside even as it responds to catalysts from the culture at large to create an individual trying to find his way in a specific socio-political environment. The works often deal with fear: of aging, of dying, of just trying to survive. My intention is to be surprising, dramatic, theatrical and passionate.  I want to move people in the traditional ways of entertainment without sinking to the lowest common denominator.  My best work evolves in an organic, experimental way (often using improvisation) that has a layered quality - what you see on the surface is not all that is there.

     Without really being aware of it at the time of creation, I have accumulated a body of work that covers a wide spectrum of macho posturing -- as it explores various roles including that of cowboy, priest, salesman, ball player, religious zealot, Hitleresque sideshow barker, and vaudeville clown among others. Below are a few examples.

 YIN-YANG (1975) is set to the still provocative score by Steve Reich "Come Out and Show Them". A cartoon-like Marlboro man, stiff legged cowboy in tight jeans with hard hands curled around a cigarette struts around aggressively -- full of smoldering machismo.  Through the course of the piece he reveals the pastel colored slip that he wears beneath his macho garb. The dance progresses into increasingly softer, more feminine movement.  He eventually reaches a new equilibrium in an almost stationary trance-like state.

 HAVANA (1980). Music by Robert Ashley.  A fey, dapper Willy Loman type checks into a hotel room and acts out fantasies, makes deals, talks on the phone, grieves the small pettiness of his life, connects with the more primitive side of his nature and ultimately smokes and drinks himself to death.

 BLUE HAZE AT DIAMOND’S EDGE (1992).  Music by Paul Lansky. A major league ball player on the way down finds his career coming to a halt, not for lack of ability but because he begins to see it as an endless tramp on a never ending treadmill. At a moment of crises, as he strikes out for yet another time, he suddenly finds himself transformed. He enters into a new realm that is at first hazy but eventually leads him to a startling discovery.

 STARDUST MEMORIES (1985). Music: traditional tangos. An old man, perhaps Italian or Greek, takes his daily walk to the park. Alone there he bemoans his aging body and then drifts off into fantasies of youth and romance. His reveries are interrupted by the harsh reality of the noise pollution around him. He then leaves returning to the drab existence that his life has become.

 STIGMATA (1989). Tape collage. While driving form Houston to Austin, I heard an interview with an ex priest  on the radio who talked about discovering true spirituality only after leaving the church. This lead me to create a work about a man of the cloth who wrestles with his inner demons and ultimately renounces his collar to embrace his true faith in God. Grand Seizure (1994)

 GRAND SEIZURE (1995), shows a middle-aged man in mid life crisis.  It is nearly 3 Am and he is walking, grieving and nearly convulsing in a deserted palazzo in some unknown European city.  He is Marlon Brando in the Last Tango in Paris.  He is Jack Nicholson in The Passenger.  He is an American who has lost his way, but finds it in the course of this night.  As the dawn greets him, he is renewed, refreshed and ready to take on the next part of his uncertain life.  The work is set to music by Astor Piazola , played by the Kronos Quartet that is alternately brooding, romantic and moving.


     Solo Videos