GO Arts

Everything new on the walls, stage, screen and streets of Tacoma and South Puget Sound.

NOTICE: GO Arts has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved GO Arts.
Visit the new section.

Mimi Allin goes to the beach at Tollefson Plaza, every afternoon this week, in “Seaside Opera”

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Aug. 18, 2010 at 9:34 am with No Comments »
August 18, 2010 9:34 am

 

Mimi Allin performing "Seaside Opera" in Tollefson Plaza this week.

If it seems hot enough downtown to spread out a beach towel on Tollefson Plaza, then go ahead – you’ll be in good company. Artist A.K. Mimi Allin is there every afternoon this week through Saturday with her own towel, plus lifeguard chair and flags, for her 10-minute performance art piece “Seaside Opera.”

Allin has set up a weirdly ambient atmosphere, flying in the face of this concrete desert. The chair-tower is blue and orange, flat blue fabric waves drape the ground, and behind her there’s a record of evocative Japanese flute music on an LP turntable. Littering the plaza are a towel with books and sunscreen, flip-flops, a plastic lobster pot, rubber waders and the delicate chime of seashells from a table umbrella.

Allin’s a poet (the very first “corporate poet” in Washington, a position she pitched herself to architecture firm NBBJ Seattle), but if you’re hoping for poetry, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, Allin strides barefoot around Tollefson in red lifeguard T-shirt and skirt, waving red-and-yellow flags in a kind of fusion of semaphore and stiff Japanese fan dance. She covers a lot of ground – the street, the fountain, the steps – attempting to engage passers-by with flags and water toys. (Yesterday, apparently, some skateboarders participated for hours; today, though, the only people at the 2:30 p.m. show were myself and my daughter, plus a woman who walked past with her cell phone completely oblivious to the action.)

The overall effect of “Seaside Opera” is relaxing, in a surreal way. But Tollefson’s big, and Allin could do with some more dramatic props – an umbrella for the chair, or enormous flags to engage the passing drivers the way I saw dancers do in Houston, Texas, on the side of a freeway.

But just about anything would liven up Tollefson, and on a 90-degree day a beach performance is the best thing I can think of.

Mimi Allin performs “Seaside Opera” 2-7 p.m. on the half-hour, every day this week through Aug. 21, and through 8 p.m. Aug. 19. Performances last 10-15 minutes. Free. Tollefson Plaza, N. 17th Street and Pacific Avenue, Tacoma. The show is part of Spaceworks Tacoma, filling vacant downtown spaces with art: www.spaceworkstacoma.com More information: www.thepoetessatgreenlake.blogspot.com

Leave a comment Comments
*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0