Deconstructing Beethoven

(L to R) Walter Dundervill, Fabian Barba, Nuno Bizarro, and Naiara Mendioroz of DD Dorvillier/human future dance corps in Danza Permanente. Photo: Paula Court

DD Dorvillier’s dances seem to be built upon propositions (What if I limited my self to this? What if I examined an idea through an unusual lens?). Usually she imbues her works with wit and an offbeat theatricality that together play against the limits of the choreographic structure. Translation is a theme that runs through her recent works. In her No Change or “freedom is a psycho-kinetic skill” … [Read more...]

Seeking Albert

Helga Davis (L) and Kate Moran in Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach. Photo: Stephanie Berger

A slender, beautiful black woman, wearing a black, high-necked 19th-century gown, sits motionless in a wooden chair on a stage covered with sand. A stuffed raven perches on her wrist. She sits there for a very long time. The stage is that of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Opera House, the women is Sheryl Sutton, it’s 1970, and the image occurs in Robert Wilson’s The Life and Times of Sigmund … [Read more...]

Out of Africa

Nora Chipaumire in her Miriam. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

In the not-so-distant past, white explorers, colonizers, missionaries, and historians referred to Africa as “the dark continent” or dramatized it as “darkest Africa.”  They may have been alluding to the skin color of most of its native inhabitants, but certainly to their own inability (and unwillingness) to understand its customs and lore. Over two September weeks, at two different New York … [Read more...]

Shadowing the Planets

BROOKLYN ACADEMY OR MUSIC

i Eons ago, a solar eclipse made people fall to their knees or consider sacrificing some handy victim. Even when you know astronomy, a rare solar eclipse can feel ominous and a lunar one eerie, but the cosmos is full of smaller eclipses most of us don’t see. A distant planet’s orbiting moons can cast their shadows on one another or on their host. It’s that slow cosmic game of dodge ball that … [Read more...]