Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dance Magazine Blogs On FAUN

Wendy Perron, Editor of Dance Magazine featured Diagnosis Of A Faun on her blog on December 9, 2009. We have included a link here. Thank you Wendy and Dance Magazine for all your help and support throughout the process!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ballerinas Aren't Supposed To Speak -or- Have You Seen My Calliope?

painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

We had a great closing on Sunday, December 20th. At the party each member of the cast brought a poem that was near-and-dear to them and read it at the cast party. Wonderful words from wonderful people to commemorate a most wonderful experience.

From Emily Pope-Blackman:

by Sylvia Plath

Haunched like a faun, he hooed
From grove of moon-glint and fen-frost
Until all owls in the twigged forest
Flapped black to look and brood
On the call this man made.

No sound but a drunken coot
Lurching home along river bank.
Stars hung water-sunk, so a rank

Of double star-eyes lit
Boughs where those owls sat.

An arena of yellow eyes
Watched the changing shape he cut,
Saw hoof harden from foot, saw sprout
Marked how god rose
And galloped woodward in that guise.

From Lucie Baker:

A Blessing
by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

From Dr. Donald Kolisch:

By Tony Hoagland

Why should I have to deal with so-called human beings
when I can be up on the roof
hammering shingles harder than necessary,

driving the sharp nails down
into the forehead of the house
like words I failed earlier to say?

And when a few wasps eddy up
from their hidden place beneath the eaves
To zoom in angry agitation near my face

I just raise a canister of lethal spray
and shoot them down without a thought.
Don’t speak to me, please,
about clarity and proportionate response.

The world is a can of contents under pressure;
a human being should have a warning label on the side
that says: Disorganized Narrative Inside;
Beware of frequent sideways bursting
Of one feeling through another
-to stare into the tangled midst of which
would make you as sick and dizzy as those wasps,

then leave you stranded on the roof
on a beautiful day in autumn
with a mouth full of nails,

trying to transplant pain
by hammering down
into a house full of echoes.

From Gregg Mozgala:

The Last Wolverine
By James Dickey

They will soon be down
To one, but he still will be
For a little while still will be stopping

The flakes in the air with a look,
Surrounding himself with the silence
Of whitening snarls.
Let him eat
The last red meal of the condemned

To extinction,
tearing the guts

From an elk.
Yet that is not enough
For me.
I would have him eat

The heart, and, from it, have an idea
Stream into his gnawing head
That he no longer has a thing
To lose, and so can walk

Out into the open, in the full
Pale of the sub-Arctic sun
Where a single spruce tree is dying

Higher and higher.
Let him climb it
With all his meanness and strength.
Lord, we have come to the end
Of this kind of vision of heaven,

As the sky breaks open
Its fans around him and shimmers
And into its northern gates he rises

Snarling complete in the joy of a weasel
With an elk's horned heart in his stomach
Looking straight into the eternal
Blue, where he hauls his kind. I would have it all

My way: at the top of that tree I place

The New World's last eagle
Hunched in mangy feathers giving

Up on the theory of flight.
Dear God of the wildness of poetry, let them mate
To the death in the rotten branches,
Let the tree sway and burst into flame

And mingle them, crackling with feathers,

In crownfire. Let something come
Of it something gigantic legendary

Rise beyond reason over hills
Of ice SCREAMING that it cannot die,
That it has come back, this time
On wings, and will spare no earthly thing:

That it will hover, made purely of northern

Lights, at dusk and fall
On men building roads: will perch

On the moose's horn like a falcon
Riding into battle into holy war against
Screaming railroad crews: will pull
Whole traplines like fibers from the snow
In the long-jawed night of fur trappers.

But, small, filthy, unwinged,
You will soon be crouching

Alone, with maybe some dim racial notion
Of being the last, but none of how much
Your unnoticed going will mean:
How much the timid poem needs

The mindless explosion of your rage,

The glutton's internal fire the elk's
Heart in the belly, sprouting wings,

The pact of the "blind swallowing
Thing," with himself, to eat
The world, and not to be driven off it
Until it is gone, even if it takes

Forever. I take you as you are

And make of you what I will,
Skunk-bear, carcajou, bloodthirsty


Lord, let me die but not die

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Faun Is Timeless

Friends of FAUN respond to the recent review in the NY TIMES

painting by Bernadette Wulf
Re: Roslyn Sulchas, "A 5000-Year-Old Being Without Physical Limits"
December 16, 2009

Dear Editor,
I attended the performance of Tamar Rogoff's "Diagnosis of a Faun" that Roslyn Sulcas reviewed. After reading the review, I began to doubt we saw the same show. She seems to have watched Gregg Mozgala "stretching indolently" as the Faun at the opening and then turned off her interpretive eyes. I am no dancer, but what I saw was the Faun languorously awakening to the sexual chargedness that shaped the rest of the performance.
It unfolded into the contrasting dialectic between the two pas de deux, the first a pas de desir with the second doctor and the second a pas-d'-amour with the nymph. Ms. Sulchas seems to have missed entirely the subtler plays ("...the rest of the story doesn't matter too much") between wholeness/halfness, back stage (forest)/front stage (operating room) as well as the contrasting motions from the sides.
What she really missed was Ms. Rogoff's magic elixir of fantasy world (fauns and nymphs) intersecting with the real world (an injured achilles, an operation), and wittiness (the second doctor turning upstage and revealing a very undoctorly bit of leg) joined with moments that were truly touching (the doctor's pas de deux with the ballerina he has healed to dance again).
Ms. Sulcas would have been more honest if she had told her editor "I don't get it. I just don't like this piece. Get someone else to review." I could have even understood her saying "I don't like this work" but she was afraid to state that. Strangely for a New York Times dance reviewer, Ms. Sulchas seems deficient in the history of dance. 
Ms. Rogoff pushes the envelop to the edge, challenging our perceptions in the gray-flannel world. She also challenges our perceptions of what dance is about and which emotions it evokes.

Frank K. Flinn- St. Louis, MO

-From Alice Bloch-

Dear Tamar, Gregg, Emily, Lucie, and Don,

What Times review? Didn't she see the show? Did she decide in advance what she was going to see and write about that? Is she the same person who reviewed Clare's solo? that reviewer couldn't get around the fact that CLARE DANES was performing. I felt some of the same about this--she decided what it was going to be about. It is also sort of like when Arlene Croce refused to review Bill T Jones "Still Here," because she said the interviews he used with the very ill prevented it from being considered as a work of art.

And Lucie and Emily, I have seen lots of really good dancers and that now includes both of you!

The other thing that is so off base is that she couldn't see what an ensemble show this is--that each of you are so powerfully yourselves, and yet something more.

Please go by the laughs, sighs, and applause of your delighted audiences--which include some really sophisticated viewers--and let this one go.

Frank is writing a letter to the Times. he will send you a copy.

He also sent on an article about a St Louis MD who has a huge research grant to help CP people walk by strengthening their ankles--but his mehtod is pure Western medicine--all machines and reps. Still, things are moving , so to speak, and maybe Tamar and this doc can get in touch and maybe that will help you get to StL. Have a wonderful closing weekend.

Love and many bravos,



-From Anita Michael NYC, NY-
Was that woman even in the theatre, watching the performance, or was she on drugs? How is it that everyone of us who witnessed that performance was able to see and feel the beauty, depth, art and humor of the work, and she didn't get it? This is why I personally never read reviews, until after I've seen the work. I don't follow this reviewer's work although I do see lots of dance. She is totally out to lunch. And I say that not based on any connection to you, Tamar, but because one knows when one experiences trancendant art, which Diagnosis of a Faun is. Let's face it most innovative art was not understood or appreciated at the time it was first presented. All I can say is Phooey on Sulkus for not being able to truly see what she was looking at. Never let grandiose jerks like her stand in your way.  You have the gift, and you graced, and touched us all with it on Saturday evening.  With admiration, deep respect, and friendship.

Sent from my iPhone

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faun Air: WBAI's "The Largest Minority" Interview

Tamar Rogoff and Gregg Mozgala had a fantastic time with Lawrence Carter-Long and the rest of the staff at WBAI's "The Largest Minority." It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about the piece and the process with members of the disabled community for members of the disabled community- and anyone else who would listen. Please check it out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

FAUN On CBS Sunday Morning

CBS Sunday Morning featured Diagnosis Of A Faun on their December 6, 2009 episode. Unfortunately, we can't embed the video but have provided a link to the CBS website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"The Faun-O-Blogs"

It seems our Faun has gone viral. Diagnosis Of A Faun has appeared on several other blogs on the world wide web. Here are just a few.

An East Village Arts blog...

A writer friend of Gregg's...

an interesting perspective on the NY TIMES article from members of the disabled community. We hope they come see the show...

A review of sorts...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Faun Takes Manhattan

This photo (minus mosquito bites) appeared in the December 7th, 2009 issue of NEW YORK MAGAZINE. The blurb has been reproduced here verbatim.

photo by Harvey Wang

Tamar Rogoff has repeatedly embraced the idea of creating works for nondancers. She had a special challenge though, in actor Gregg Mozgala (pictured), whose movements are limited by cerebral palsy. Especially for him, Rogoff made Diagnosis Of A Faun, which explores how science and nature cpnverge. See why Oliver Sacks called Mozgala "the cerebral-palsy Nijinsky" Starting December 3 (at La Mama E.T.C.)

Didn't Nijinksy have a nervous breakdown and die peniless and alone? Perfect.