What Can I Tell You?

(L to R) Molly Lieber, Marilyn Maywald, Katy Pyle, and Weena Pauly. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Once upon a time there were program notes—maybe a provocative line of poetry would serve. Then there were no program notes; all you needed to know about a dance was there for the looking. Recently, programs for dance events outside the mainstream have begun to publish short essays by choreographers and/or seasoned non-dancing thinkers. In terms of theorizing and probing into the ideas behind the … [Read more...]

Testing Realness

Faye Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt in Driscoll's You're Me. Photo: Paula Court

You’re Me. That’s the name of Faye Driscoll’s duet for herself and Jesse Zaritt. And the chosen title is a pretty blunt way of putting out an idea that longtime couples acknowledge in more honeyed syntax—possibly with damp eyes. I hope it won’t turn you off, dear reader, if I note that this no-holds barred encounter between a man and a woman is about identity and gender roles. You’re Me tackles … [Read more...]

Channeling Chekhov

David Krugel and Cora Bos-Kroese in Jirí Kylián and Michael Schumacher's Last Touch First. Photo: Robert Benschop

If this is a summerhouse somewhere in Europe around the end of the 19thcentury, why is the furniture still shrouded in dust sheets and marooned on a rumpled, sheeted floor?  This question is not the only one you might ask yourself while watching the inhabitants of the room move in slow motion through 50 or so minutes of a deceptively uneventful day. Last Touch First (at the Joyce Theater, April … [Read more...]

Feeding the Animals

Oxana Panchenko in black and white. Photo: Paula Court

“I'm gonna make you howl like a wolf Scream like a pig Go through the roof Lie down with the lion But to tell you the truth I'm thinking about starting a zoo.” So sings Jarvis Cocker, while, Jason Buckle, his mate in the Britpop duo Relaxed Muscle, pounds out a ripe, percussive smear of sound. Is this some red-lit, clinking- glasses club?  No, it’s the Olympic-pool-sized, fourth floor … [Read more...]

Afterlife Meeting

(L to R) Dylan Crossman, Daniel Squire, and Jamie Scott. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

The composer John Cage died suddenly in August 1992. In March 1993, his partner, choreographer Merce Cunningham, premiered a new dance, Doubletoss. These two facts resonated together for anyone watching the work’s first performances. Cunningham said at the time that he had made two dances and merged them—ensuring that all 14 dancers knew both and using chance procedures to determine how the … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Fame

LeeSaar The Company in Fame, Jye-Hwei Lin foreground. Photo: Mark Garvin

You wouldn’t expect LeeSaar The Company’s new piece, Fame, to re-create the eyes-on-stardom world of the two movies and the television show that bear that name. Teenagers in New York’s High School of Performing Arts striving, bitching, and shining their way to success and successful hookups?  No. The fascinating Fame choreographed by Lee Scher and Saar Harari—and premiered by Peak Performances at … [Read more...]