SALT FLAT PIECES 1998Description:
Alex Ketley and Christian Burns drove from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flat on the Utah Nevada border and spent a week video taping and improvising in the desert. This was the first project that they pursued, and it ended up staging the direction for a five-year exploration about how the environment affects the generation of movement. The piece is lonely, stark, beautiful, and young.
“The strongest film (and dance) on the bill was Salt Flat Pieces (1998), by Alex Ketley and Christian Burns. A man dressed in a gray suit and goggles dances with his briefcase across Utah’s sea of salt. In one section, the precise modern balletics performed on-screen were mirrored by Ketley onstage. Another slow-motion, film only sequence features the man drop-kicking his briefcase and doing a series of elaborate falls evoking the spirit of corporate hysteria and bipolar downsizing. In the case of Salt Flat Pieces, the quality of the stageand the filmic choreography was equally strong, the two media contributing to a consistent mood. The film component emphasized the kinesthetic aspect of the movement, while the live dancing drew out the sparse visuals of the film: a gorgeous thing.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian – December 1998