During the Friday evening performance I attended, subway trains rumbled directly above the site at reliable intervals, and it was indeed hard to know where Erin McGonigle’s electronic/ambient score (which features, among other ensemble players, thousands of amorous crickets) ended and real life began. When a motorcyle roared across the bridge towards Brooklyn, it was like a featured soloist.
But the venue is so impressive that the dance becomes secondary, overwhelmed by the sonic and industrial spectacle. Perhaps this is where Icarus comes in, as the proud artist approaches the sun to battle it for glory but falls apart, no match for the brutal environment. While the fantastic interplay between art and reality enhances the work, the work finally seems a meditation on distraction and serendipity, and the ephemeral nature of human endeavor. In Melt, it is not dust to which we return, but vapor.
Melt drips through Septmber12th at the Salt Pile, Corner of South Street and Peck Slip under the Manhattan Bridge. Take the F Train to East Broadway, and while you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the Chinatown branch of Xi’an Famous Foods for a cumin lamb burger that will make you melt without beeswax.