This sounds like the makings of a good show and acclaimed Atlanta gay dancer and choreographer Erik Thurmond promises one.
“The show is super sexy! We perform in our underwear and get really sweaty. Plus the music Ben [Coleman] has created is incredibly hot,” he says.
The show that opens Thursday and runs through Saturday is titled “Meh Meh” and is described as “a physical display of male competition, virility, control and the objectification of desire.”
Thurmond collaborates with other well-known Atlanta artists Aubrey Longley-Cook, Nicholas Goodly, Ben Coleman and Kevin Byrd to explore the relationship of dominance and vulnerability in an open arena for the audience to watch, like a boxing match. Thurmond answered a few questions before Thursday’s opening.
Why is the show titled, “Meh Meh”?
Erik: To sign kiss kiss at the end of a letter in Chinese you would write 么 么 which is pronounced meh meh to sound like two little kisses. I love the idea that what sounds like kisses to the Chinese is a sound of indifference to Americans. In the piece we use these sounds to control and set challenges for one another. We explore the futility of feigning nonchalance rather than risking emotional vulnerability in attempts to control people in our lives.
What exactly is included in a “physical display of male competition, virility, control and the objectification of desire.” What are you trying to express?
The piece is composed of games and abstracted images of dominance performed by Nicholas Goodly and myself to music by Ben Coleman in an arena designed by Aubrey Longley-Cook and Kevin Byrd. All the elements live with each other to create a futuristic and primal sports match that the audience is invited to watch. The circumstances we have designed attempt to ask the viewer what role control plays in our lives and is it actually serving us.
What do you hope people will walk away with after watching this performance?
My hope is that the audience member leaves considering the power of collaborative art work as a tool to reflect human truths and elevate all of the elements involved.