Leanne Schmidt (shown here in her piece Wonderland) is serious about comedy. Photo by Ryan Jensen.
I created the piece Melt about the art of seduction—gone wrong. During its staging at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, dancers in all-black pantomimed mundane household tasks, like drinking tea or ironing clothes, using each other's bodies as props. As they moved, they stared lustily at the audience, as though they were doing something seriously sexy. Then, a dancer in a janitor's uniform entered and began spritzing them with water from a spray bottle, the kind you use to train pets. “No, no! This is all wrong!" she scolded the dancers. She addressed the audience, “Is this turning you on?" They erupted in laughter. The mood shifted instantaneously. You could feel the room relax as the audience realized it was all a joke.