Directed by Mimi Garrard / Reviewed by Adva Reichman
What if the world truly was a stage but the performers could only express themselves via dance? What kind of a world will that be? And what styles would we find?
In the video, ‘The Money Game’, the director Mimi Garrard, asked just that, but made one clear choice. This world is limited to and only revolves around… money.
And so, it’s no surprise that the dancer seems to be wearing a prisoner uniform as we are all prisoners in the endless chase of making more, earning more, having more.
At the beginning the dancer reaches for a suitcase and secretly makes his way out of the frame, but alas, he goes back to the start because no matter how may suitcases you have, the hunt for more is never over.
The director describes the video as a dance about the world- wide obsession with money. The dancer seems to be going in circles. There is no beginning or end, no clear goal or a distinct way to win this game. The dancer is trapped in a black space where the only source of light comes from dollar bills. As the dancer makes his way in the world, the dollars change their form and create various shapes, but are never gone. If anything, they just take more space. All symbolizing the fact that no matter what you call it, how you excuse it or try to justify it, it’s all the same. The limitless hunger for money is what makes the dancer’s world go round. By displaying that, the director brings up the question and with it the undeniable request, that we take a hard long look at our world and how we live our lives.
The dancer, Austin Selden, beautifully captures the loneliness, eagerness and sense of captivity this never ending pursuit entails. The unique editing enhances the trap money presents, and the effective music, composed by Jonathan Melville Pratt, enriches the piece and gives it the final touch it needed.
The director,Mimi Garrard, who also shot and edited the dance video, is a well-known and respected dancer and choreographer whose work has displayed around the world. In her statement Gerard explains she enjoys“experimenting in new ways, creating dance for video using digital techniques to transform the dance material.”
Judging by her latest video, I’m eager to see what she does next, and which elements she decides to explore.