Raids – Guerilla Performances (1994-1998)
In addition to our formal performances, we have also done a series of unannounced (and uninvited) "guerrilla" performances at public sites throughout the New York City area. Each of these Raids is designed to reflect the mood of the season in which it is performed. The premise of these events is as follows; we invite several of our comrade dancers to join us for a short rehearsal on the day of the Raid. Once they arrive, we spend about 90 minutes teaching them the choreography/improvisation, reveal the location and time and hand them a subway token. We then head en-masse for the site(s) where we gather and execute the performance. No one else is given prior knowledge as to the date, time and location of the Raid.
Raid #1 – Test: LA Subway System (May 1994)
Fall Raid 1996 • Entrance to the Holland Tunnel • (October 16th 1996)
This season’s first Raid took place at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel at rush hour. (For those not familiar to New York City, the Holland Tunnel is one of the few ways to enter/exit the island of Manhattan, a feature which assures a fine audience at 5pm on a weekday. In addition to the dance performance, we set up a small FM radio transmitter to broadcast the musical score on an empty channel, allowing the passing motorists to tune in and hear the accompaniment.
Winter Raid 1997 • Lobby of the Museum of Modern Art • (Feb. 8th, 1997)
After warming up by performing the Raid in the 53rd/Lexington Subway Station, we headed to the Museum of Modern Art to perform the actual Raid. It was an amazing site to see the way guards appeared like mad just seconds after we began to perform. We got through one cycle of the five-minute dance before things with the authorities started to get somewhat more serious. The patrons of the museum present in the lobby were kind enough to applaud as we were summarily taken out the door.
Spring Raid 1997 • The Brooklyn Bridge • (May 17th, 1997)
We gathered at the West tower of the Brooklyn Bridge to celebrate the coming of Spring with our third Raid of the season. The dancers learned four short phrases that they then performed according to a game structure. We had hoped for sun, but got a gray sky instead. We had just finished the dance when the first drops of rain began to fall.
Summer Raid 1997 • The Wintergarden (World Trade Ctr) • (June 17th, 1997)
For this Raid, we went to the Wintergarden, a beautiful glass enclosed structure that looks out over the Hudson River. Of course, as part of the World Financial Center, the target of a bombing in 1993, the anxiety level of the guards was high, and we only got to perform about two minutes before we were forced to "take it outside." In the end, the entire piece was performed at the public space just outside of the Wintergarden for hundreds of investment bankers and the like who were supping at the outdoor café there.
Fall Raid 1998 • The Staten Island Ferry • (September 30th, 1998)
After working through the choreography at the studio, we boarded the Staten Island Ferry with 7 performers at about 4:30 PM. This piece was about traveling, and our idea was to have a slow moving dance that took the entire twenty-minute ferry trip for the dancers to get from one end of the boat to the other. This included some fast moving phrases that broke out from the slow material. We were about three minutes in when a very stern looking fellow with captain’s bars on his shirt came to Mark (they always go to the guy with the video camera) and told him in no uncertain terms that the police would be waiting at the other end if we didn't stop now. Following non-confrontational policy Mark told him that we would stop but regretted not putting up more of a fight. Nevertheless, several passengers told us that they enjoyed what little they did get to see. We performed the entire Raid outside the Ferry Terminal after returning to Manhattan.