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Side Eyes

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Cydni Patterson read Michaela Dwyer's assessment of the Durham Independent Dance Artists' recent bookings—specifically her two-and-a-half-star review of Alyssa Noble and Allie Pfeffer's What You Want—and, "with all the side eyes that I can muster," offers this response: "I realized that the reviewer must not have seen the same show. They expertly displayed and dissected the burden of balancing the soul-edifying experience of creating and expressing yourself and the occasionally soul-crushing responsibility to generate revenue to fund these creative pursuits and basic living necessities.

"I do not know the background of the initial reviewer, but I definitely have some concerns with their review. There was not a lot of space given to the beauty behind all of the nuances of their performance. The flow of the performance spoke to the hard work and discipline of the entire cast. The function of art, and arguably life, is to be able to communicate your perspective to an audience. I was the audience member who did not have a lot of experience with that particular performance art, but the core themes of that performance resonated with me. I understood what was being said, without there needing to be a lot of dialogue.

"As for the A word ['appropriative'] that was arbitrarily thrown in that review, girl bye. I am a black woman. I've seen my aesthetic, mannerisms, and experiences be used as a reason to denigrate my value and then celebrated when they are mimicked by others. This was not a Pepsi-quality, boxer-braid-style performance. This was a well-thought-out and welcoming performance by artists who utilized their body as a medium, in a field that is not super-inclusive to a lot of us other'd folks. No shade, no tea, but anyone who has to question the decision to dance seductively with a broom, whilst listening to Usher, just does not have the range to make the judgments that were made in this review. The way that the appropriation comment was so casually used was very reflective of how folks of color have constantly been treated by society. We are not a prop to be used for your personal gain. Do not use us to throw shade at them.

"The whole point of the performance was to highlight the weight of living out two warring realities. The ability to speak the language of a society that was built off of our exploitation, while maintaining the sequined-lined joy, glitter, and glam of staying true to our authentic selves, is a prerequisite to surviving and thriving in a black body. That fluency comes at a cost, and one of the expenses is the time that I could possibly have for anyone using a struggle of my community and other communities of color to throw unprovoked salt. Zero percent of me is here for that. Try again."

Brannon White, meanwhile, read our coverage on how beer and wine wholesalers gave more than $53,000 to lawmakers and were able to successfully kill an effort to allow breweries to self-distribute more of their product. He was not amused: "And this is why we have the government we do. Money, plain and simple, buys votes. If you give enough of it, you can get whatever you want. That's why there should be term limits and time-gap requirements between serving in an elected seat and becoming a lobbyist."

Finally, commenter mv87 throws shade at former INDY staff writer Joe Schwartz's piece on his own wedding, which ran in our alternative wedding guide last week: "This is the most obnoxious, navel-gazing piece about a wedding that I've read in a while. I thought I was reading an Onion article. Not everyone can afford a three-day smorgasbord of craft and hipster everything. Essentially, in trying to buck with tradition, this couple became snobbier than a Southern country-club bridezilla."

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