Refuse the Hour

I just got home from the fabulous experimental chamber opera Refuse The Hour by artist William Kentridge. It was part of BAM’s  Next Wave Festival. It was hard to describe, but try to imagine this: a mad steampunk scientific traveling circus lab that is exploring the concept of time — with a dash of Robert Wilson and a pinch of David Lynch thrown in for good measure. There were beautiful and other-worldly vocals by Ann Masina and Joanna Dudley. There was appealingly frantic and sometimes almost decaying atonal music — and of course Kentridge’s signature drawings and films. I was impressed by the incredible musical machines, and the creative use of megaphones, movement and dance. (There was even a megaphone dance performed by Dada Masilo which was brilliantly executed.) Then there was William Kentridge onstage himself. He told us stories and taught us science and metaphysics. It was a fascinating and entertaining evening — and somewhere out there in the universe, light years away, it is playing over and over again …

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