| UN ELEPHANT TERRIBLE by Chris Yon is the product
of an up-and-coming young maverick from the emerging generation of new dancer-choreographers.
It's a tragicomic vaudeville involving obnoxious re-interpretations of minimalist
music in a film-noir setting.
UN ELEPHANT TERRIBLE is primarily a duet with Taryn Griggs, whom Yon
met while they were both in residence as dancers at the 2002 Bessie Shonberg
Residency at The Yard, an arts colony on Martha's Vineyard. They have
been working together ever since. The dance also features Eleanor Bauer
and Adam Carpenter. Last season, Yon and Tara Griggs appeared at The Club
at La MaMa in "AGITPROPS: the Recycling Project" by Yoshiko
Chuma. Following the engagement, Nicky Paraiso, "cultural minister"
of The Club, asked Yon to put something together for this season.
The evening will also include, as a curtain-raiser, a five-minute solo,
"Equinox-Run (a reconstruction)," which is a revival of a piece
by Rudy Perez. Perez is a choreographer rooted in the Judson Dance Theater
of the '60s, and has been an ongoing mentor to Yon. This piece was the
last solo Perez did in New York; he taught it to Yon in L.A. last year.
Yon describes his flavor of Dance Theater as "a hybrid of physical
slapstick and esoteric postmodern dance." He says this project combines
his distinctive "stamp" with the very abstract, esoteric stoicism
of Rudy Perez' work. Yon is hitherto best known for a series of dances
her did with Justin Jones: the "Chris and Justin Medicine Show,"
which was presented at the Gershwin Hotel, the Knitting Factory, CB's
Gallery and the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space. It was called
a "unique blend of classic ballet, modern dance and physical shtick,
all informed with a pop culture sensibility."(Nate Grove, itsrandom.com).
Yon is co-founder with Karinne Keithley, of "Ur: Your Neighborhood
Dance Palace," a storefront dance space in Williamsburg. Yon and
Keithley started the place as a home for their own work, but opened it
up to "the community of like-minded artists of our generation who
are independent and rambunctious."
Yon has also been an underwater puppeteer in basil Twist's "Symphonie
Fantastique," posed as a priest in Ann Carlson's "Night Light,"
was David Neumann's doppelganger in Neumann's "Sentence." His
own work has been presented at DTW (Family Matters), Danspace Project
(Food for Thought) and the Kitchen (Dance-In-Progress). Yon's fellowships
and residencies include a 2002 Bessie Schonberg Artist Residency at the
Yard and a 2003 NYFA Fellowship for Performance Art/Multidisciplinary
Work. Brian McCormick (Gay City News) wrote that Chris Yon's "approach
to creation and choreography is rich and exhilarating, full of intelligent
and intriguing movement decisions and dynamic contrasts. The integration
of theatrical elements is also effective and adds meaning to the dance."
Taryn Griggs graduated with a degree in Dance from North Carolina School
of the Arts. She appeared in Yon's "Teardrop Terror" at Ur in
October, b2003. She has most recently been seen in Susan Rethorst's "oh
oh oh" at DTW, her second project with Ms. Rethorst in the last three
years. Other choreographers she has worked with are Ivy Baldwin, Yoshiko
Chuma, Anna Sperber and Johannes Wieland. She currently lives in Brooklyn
and works at a yarn store.