Frank performed Wrapping/Rocking at Group Motion in Philadelphia on September 22 and 23, 1990. We also did a photo shoot with photographer Tracy Kauffman Wood. Here are some photos and miscellaneous paraphernalia from the trip.
Photos from the performance
Letter from Thom Dura after the performance
(Click on a thumbnail to get larger image)
Photos from the shoot with Tracy Kauffman Wood
with Frank Moore, Linda Mac, Mikee LaBash and Alexi Malenky. (Click on a thumbnail to get larger image)
Frank performed “Wrapping/Rocking” as part of the “Masters of the Mind – San Francisco Performance Artists” weekend at the Art Department Gallery in Denver in 1987. Mark Pauline, of Survival Research Laboratories, performed on the second night.
Karen Briede’s Art Department Gallery was part of her work/living space where she also did hairdressing.
Below is the letter that Frank wrote to Cecilie, a local person who Karen had found to perform with Frank as part of his cast. This was the first time that Frank described “Wrapping/Rocking” in written form.
Frank Moore 1812 Bancroft Way Berkeley, CA 94703 (415)540-0907 April 13
Karen of the Art Department Gallery said you will be in my performance, Wrapping/Rocking, on May 8. I am glad to have you on board. She also said you had at least one other person to be a dancer. Because of changes in the piece, we need 2 to 3 additional nude dancers (that makes a total of 4 to 5 nude dancers plus you). Could you help Karen to get these?
I will get the times and dates out of the way, then get to the meat of the piece.
Linda and I get to Denver Tuesday afternoon the 5th. I want to get together with you and the dancers Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for 2-4 hours. On Friday, we will meet at the Gallery at 6 P.M. to put our body make-up on before the performance. Would you pass this information on to the dancers? Also, would you call us Tuesday night at the Art Department (303 892-0352) to confirm the rehearsals?
I am enclosing the poem which Linda will read over and over throughout the piece.
As the piece begins, I am lying on a mat. You are bending over me, rocking. Your nude body brushes over me in this dance to the live drums beating. Although our bodies are always in physical contact during this dance, our bodies will be only barely touching.
During this dance, the nude, body-painted dancers will greet each person at the door, will perform a ritual of kissing and washing of feet, give him Somala (a magical potion) and then will lead him to his special sitting spot on the floor near us.
When the last is seated, the dancers will lift each of us onto the lap of an audience member. There we wait as they replace the mat with my wheelchair. The dancers will then lift me into the chair and you onto my lap.
We start rocking together, moving together. We start making sounds together. The live music will respond to our sounds and movement. The dancers move slowly round us in a sensual ritual. Slides start being projected onto our nude bodies. Linda starts reading the poem.
Our movements, our rocking, and our sounds should cover the range of emotions of the poem … sometimes comforting and child-like, sometimes suffering and in pain … magical … sexual … insane … etc. But never linear, one emotion should not lead to another, but just flow out of us. In this way, our rocking and sounds will become a chant that will put the audience into a magical trance.
As the poem is being read over and over, the dancers will slowly create a web of ribbon, cellophane, toilet paper, and tin foil … ultimately connecting, wrapping, everyone up together.
The end will be us sitting nude in soft light in the remains of the web, talking with the audience. In rehearsals, we will not go through the entire piece. We will focus on getting comfortable with each other, and on exploring sounds and movements which we will use.
Hope I have given you the feeling of the piece and of what will be involved. If you have any questions, feel free to call me. Is there a number where we can reach you?
the two nude figures sit in time and space. one upon the other. rocking together. rocking in their cave.
two magic figures rocking together against time. rocking back through time. back and forth.
mother rocking her baby. rocking against sickness and tears. rocking back into love and peace.
in the cave, unseen except by the spirits, the holymen rock out of this reality of personal isolation of greys. rock until they rock into the pulse of pure light. back and forth until at-one-ness came, until atonement came… not just for them… but those outside the cave. magic rocking. passion rocking. almost sexual, not quite… very sexual… beyond sexual.
two bodies rocking together, rubbing isolation away.
grandpa sits in his rocking chair, slowly holding onto creaking passion of living. lovers dance, rocking back and forth to the music. sometimes fast. sometimes slow. passion rises warm and comforting. pain and grief disappear. a kid holding onto a blanket, rocks back and forth, holding onto the wrapping that holds us all together. colorful ribbons of our cocoon. the 2 lovers pumping hard on the swing, working together to get the highest thrilling flying and swooshing drop on their bellies and, yes, in their loins. almost sexual, but not quite…. very sexy… beyond sex. mere sex would get in the way of the child-like melting of earth and sky. back and forth, up and down, wrapping us together in brightness and softness and the magical commonness.
a girl laughs on a big old rocking horse. a g.i. holding his guts in, blood oozing out, rocks on the battlefield… rocks to keep life in and pain out.
light pulses, reflected off tin and plastic.
daddy rocking baby to sleep on his lap. cozy togetherness in ribbons, rocking by the fire far away from reality.
the arab woman, on her knees beside the unrecognizable remains of her husband rocking to handle grief and pain. a crazy rocks on the street corner, talking to beings from another reality. wrap us up cozy. wrap us warmly. maypole dancers with ribbons. admit that we all are wrapped up together in see-through ties.
the gypsy woman, eyes closed, rocks back and forth, giving master spirits her voice and her body to speak through. rocking in her tent.
the boys rocking uncontrollable from laughter at their childish pranks.
rocking surrealistic in the darkness, in their colorful bonds, the two nude figures, using magical passion to melt together, rock like the blind, like the insane, like the holy men, like lovers… and the magical melting spreads out of the cave and into the world.
“Wrapping/Rocking” Poem by Frank Moore Chanted by Michael LaBash Background music: excerpt from “Body Music” performed by Frank Moore’s Chero Company: Michael LaBash, Alexi Malenky, Rourke Smith & Leigh Thumbnail photo by Kevin Rice A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 4. Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/
Here are some Wrapping/Rocking performances:
Wrapping/Rocking @ The Intersection, San Francisco, California March 14, 1986
Wrapping/Rocking, Sixth Sense Gallery, NYC May 19, 1987
Wrapping/Rocking, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 23, 1987
Wrapping/Rocking & Statues, EZTV, Los Angeles, California
September 9, 1988
“Wrapping/Rocking”, Berkeley, California
January 14, 1989