for Margy Jenkins

Margy Jenkins

Margy steps out of her limo (a 1947 fun-park dodgem) carrying a bouquet of time - an offering of pure movement, like a pot of aromatic herbs. Her entourage – everyone from the riveter to the wet nurse to the pet mountain lion to the master glass blowers run into a huddle, then form a line, then fall down, then strike a pose for a class picture; finally they open bags of lightly-salted almonds. Margy looks up, laughs, lights the stove and says: "let's get to work." The room smells of humus, butane, and blood oranges.

They move in the gates, the bridges, the tunnels, the phaults, the cakewalks, quilts, dodgems, the exiles, arugola-beds, courantes, foxtrots, silly-putty, lox and audio shrubbery. Over there on a travertine walkway, we see martial artists standing on their heads kissing; an undercover sound-man follows a 3-legged dog; the dog snaps at a lonely prairie hen, then starts to pee on bed of anemones. Pretending to record the wailing wall, the soundman is unmasked and chased by a voluptuous Diana – a dervish with legs akimbo; exhausted they reach the northern border, they appear frozen, merged indifferently into an erotic tendu-block-of-ice. For no reason the musicians hoist their cembalons up with rotary winches and paprika, then retire to the sauna. Margy always embraces Science, Kiwis, Hydroponics, Schwitz and Nachis. Up over here there's an ancient pyramid held aloft by a swarm of bees – maybe it's an airborne harem of castrati, no way to know until the Ethiopian National Cricket team emerges swatting in full regalia; on the pitcher's wicket a lone bale of hay intones an unknown national anthem, then self-immolates exposing a sacred garden of genetically modified stones. Calm is restored, the first phrase is completed with plexiglass annotations.

The Jenkins Utopian Transport company beats Fedex to Ur; churns basement cement and amphitheater walls into succulent abstractions. Delivers straight to the heart of matter where capers grow in the cracks and angels fear to tread. Who, what den-mother, what cricket-team, ever set the table with tectonic dinner plates? that slide and crawl, pitch themselves at dangerous angles beyond the supper-club dance floor; at this point the whole company rolls under Guy Lombardo's twin pianos. Some Catskills Schtick, you say? or is it merely a ploy to whisper: "May I now kiss you?"... on this twisted nipple of bodies that just a minute ago were doing a soft-shoe in the back room and somehow with digital mirrors become a single strand of hair, evaporate like the news and everyday songbirds on cue. How does she ever make such heavy furniture fly out of sight? is it mounted on
hydrogen-powered-shadows? winged dodgems? on Satie's bedsprings? Or is this just some kind of a gluten-free-pavane for the next millenium?

Enough already. So What does Margy really do? Easy, she transforms the impossible into pure joy, "basta." Just like the Golem she trained to juggle prunes till they turned to gold.

Alvin Curran Feb 3/4, 2003

Published in part in the souvenir booklet for the 30th anniversary season of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, 2003.

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