Faye Driscoll’s You’re Me
Over the next 90 minutes, Driscoll and the remarkable, fluent Aaron Mattocks, who had stepped into a role created by Jesse Zaritt and reportedly learned the role on two-week’s notice, stepped, bounced, shrieked, and scrabbled through a series of 20 to 30-count episodes, much of it having to do with orality. She ate out of the palm of his hand. He whimpered, mouth open, like a baby bird, while she, googly eyed, fed him morsels from her mouth. He spit stones. Whole oranges got stuffed into their costumes to indicate boobs, knobby knees, deformed shoulder joints and—you knew it had to happen—scratchable, hanging balls. There was a Halloween-worthy, faux knife murder where a tangle of red yarn became viscera enjoyed by a glazed-eye zombie.
At one point, the duo pounced on a cache of costume-fixings, Driscoll riding the back of Mattock’s neck like a hobbyhorse. Wigs, pink netting, and scarves flew through the air as she flashed through a snapshot-like series of instant characters, a bargain basement Cindy Sherman. When the two performers pulled out spray cans and started painting themselves and each other in day-glow colors, you felt they’ve been waiting for permission to do this their entire adult lives.
-Debra Cash, Arts Fuse (Boston)
Steven Reker/People Get Ready’s Specific Ocean
Aaron Mattocks brought the piece to a climax with his solo for prepared guitar. Slung over his shoulder to start, he began moving in adagio, slowly experimenting with resonating tones as he took arabesques and lunges. As he picked up the pace, the guitar reflected his growing carelessness and abandon. The guitar never got him down, though he lead the guitar into some impressive floor work. By the end of the battle, his freedom within literally rang out…
The next, more propulsive song finds Mattocks and Marz front and center. In the most mesmerizing choreography of the evening, they skate across the slick Masonite on their knees, speedily carving out pathways in between sculptural, floor-bound poses, shifting directions with Pac-Man-like decisiveness.
Mattocks appears with an electric guitar strapped to his back, regarding it as nothing more than an accessory. With the help of some technology, his visceral, serpentine solo generates its own score through the crashing of the instrument against his body and the ground.
-Siobhan Burke, The Brooklyn Rail
Mattocks’s solo with guitar slung over his shoulder (upside-down with its head just above the floor) is Specific Ocean’s dance centerpiece and carries weight and purpose. The instrument is an extension of his body. Mattocks doesn’t play, but turns around it, advancing by throwing a leg out in stretched arabesque, over, and beyond. He spirals in an energetic, circular space-eating walk, landing on his feet, so to speak. After this affecting solo he runs into the house in a gesture of largesse. It’s an invitation to sit back, feel the energy, and enjoy the visual and aural feast. Applause erupts.
-Lori Ortiz, Special Apple
David Gordon’s Beginning of the End of the…
Aaron Mattocks, who is emerging as one of the finest young actor-dancers in New York, is a particular pleasure here.
-Claudia La Rocco, New York Times
David Parker/The Bang Group’s Nut/Cracked
“Tree” begins with Aaron Mattocks prone, a miniature Christmas tree resting on his diaphragm. The change in scale from what one sees uptown sets off a wave of giggles in the audience. But the house grows quiet as the dancer unfolds himself, ever upward. The solo ends with his body stretched to its fullest height as high on his toes as possible, that little tree lifted to the heavens. It’s man’s voyage from the primordial ooze to thinking, feeling biped, in a matter of minutes.
-Carol Pardo, Dance View Times
The Sugar Plum adagio [danced by Nic Petry and Aaron Mattocks] is a you-suck-my-thumb-I’ll-suck-yours male-male duet that ought to be irksome but whose grand dance ardor makes it oddly marvelous. You never know what’ll happen next, but when it’s over you find that what started as a series of flimsy sketches has turned into a passionate declaration of naïveté in the best sense: innocence regained.
-Alastair Macaulay, New York Times