“A head of time [solo]”

Linda Austin: Dancing inside everyday life

In "A head of time [solo]" Linda Austin continues to create dance from the movement and emotion of life

A head of time [solo], which she performed at Performance Works Northwest this weekend, transformed Linda Austin’s last ensemble piece into a solo act. First performed in 2012 with a nine-person cast featuring a who’s-who of Portland dance, Austin has performed the piece as a solo performance first in Mexico and once before in Portland. She presented it here not only to build support for her next ensemble piece, (Un)Made You, but also to coincide with the birthday of one of the dedicatees of the piece, her sister.

For those of us who missed the first run, an important but downplayed component of the show is that it was occasioned by the untimely deaths of Austin’s sister and nephew, both in 2011. When you consider all these threads of time winding around just the very dates of this performance, if it wasn’t about time, mortality, and the strangeness of being in the middle of it all, something would seem amiss.

Linda Austin in “A head of time [solo]”/Chelsea Petrakis

Linda Austin in “A head of time [solo]”/Chelsea Petrakis

Austin started the performance by instructing us what not to think of, which naturally planted these images firmly in our minds. She flubbed one of the lines, but responded to it with an unhurried tumble of beautiful nonsense sounds until the sentence got back on track. As she began to arrange the multicolored extension cords that would tie together many of the props, Austin declared further instructions and meditations on states of self, past moments, and habits of personality that either directly referenced childhood or at least carried the sense of comfortable weirdness that you can’t help but miss after growing up even a little.


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