Flying with Broken Wings

Taisha Paggett (L) and Nguyên Nguyên of David Roussève/REALITY in Stardust. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

David Roussève/REALITY appears at Peak Performances, February 6-9. It’s a story you might read in the newspaper almost any day. An orphaned boy in an inner-city ghetto is sodomized by a foster father and bullied by the classmates he tries to emulate. The kid—fragile, good at heart, not too savvy, and gay—gets understanding from the school therapist, Miss Thelma, to whom he’s sent to for … [Read more...]

Performing Yourself

Gianni Blumer in Disabled Theater. At back (L to R): Julia Håusermann, Remo Beuggert (hidden), Matthias Brücker, Tiziana Pagliaro. Photo: Ian Douglas

Members of Switzerland's Theater Hora perform Jérôme Bel's Disabled Theater at New York Live Arts, November 12-17. Ten empty chairs wait in a semi-circle on New York Live Arts’ stage, a plastic bottle of water beside each seat. Simone Truong takes her place at a table holding audio equipment and in a soft, noncommittal voice announces the performers’ first task of the evening. She begins—as … [Read more...]

A New Stravinsky Rite; Forget the Virgin

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company mingle. Photo: Cory Weaver

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company collaborates with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in “A Rite,” presented in the Richard B. Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater,  July 6 and 7. 1913 was quite a year, and saying “Happy 100th Anniversary” mightn’t be the most appropriate salutation. Forget such minor irritations as the United States initiating an income tax. Think instead about artists who … [Read more...]

Perilous Journey, Landscape Unknown

The mob at the end of Bastard (The Painted Bird, Part I). Photo: David Kumerman

"The Painted Bird," a trilogy by Pavel Zuštiak + Palissimo Company, at LaMama Moves! Dance Festival, June 21-30, 2013 Pavel Zuštiak’s The Painted Bird trilogy draws its themes from Jerzy Kosiňski’s much debated novel of that title. Images of flight, concealment, disguise, isolation, displacement, and the vagaries of memory pervade all three parts of this extraordinary work. What does the … [Read more...]

Tell Me a Story, and Another and Another

Emily Pope-Blackman (L) and Petra van Noort in Tiffany Mills' The Feast (Part 1). Photo: Julie Lemberger

The Tiffany Mills Company presents two new works at BAM Fishman. Remember when dancers rarely talked onstage?  No? Then you’re probably still in your twenties. Beginning in the 1980s, when narrative and emotion began to slip  back into contemporary American dance and knock its movement-and-form-only stance askew, some choreographers tackled stories that couldn’t be told through dancing … [Read more...]

A Change in the Wind

Brandin Steffensen, cross-dressed. Photo: Julie Lemberger

Tamar Rogoff’s Summer’s Different in La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart’s Theater, April 24 through May 12 A family’s summer day on the beach, what could be finer?  Of course, someone might get  sunburned, someone might drop her hot dog in the sand, someone might swim out a little too far. There could be bickering. Tears saltier than usual could be shed. But still. . .a cloudless sky, blue waves. … [Read more...]

And Then They Talked Some More

Cameron (L) and Aoki turn creaturely. Photo: © Christ Cameron

Whoever said that dancers can’t talk well in public? These days, shutting up and just dancing is often not in the cards (there are some particulars that movement alone can’t reveal). This struck me when five of the seven performances that I managed to take in during four days of the annual event-crammed conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) involved … [Read more...]

Lie There My Art

Prospero (Eric Beauchesne) regarded by some of the "replicas"  at the end of Kidd Pivot's The Tempest Replica by Crystal Pite. Photo: Geörg Baumann

I don’t think of myself as purist about Shakespeare. I’m fine with Laurence Olivier inserting a line from Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine into his Henry V film and loved David Gordon’s Dancing Henry V.  I’m okay with the 1995 film of Richard III that equates its murderous dynasties with the Third Reich.  I relished a years-ago Shakespeare and Company production of Much Ado About Nothing that was … [Read more...]

Forever Pina

Damiano Ottavio Bigi (L) and Rainer Behr anchored by Morena Nascimento. Photo: Stephanie Berger

Pina Bausch’s last work, created in the six months before her death in June 2009, takes its title from a line in a song by the Chilean singer Violeta Parra, who committed suicide in 1967. The dance is called . . .como el mosguito en la piedra ay si, si, si. . . . , and the name of the song is Volver a los 17. What is it that makes us feel 17 again?  In the end the song’s refrain, with its … [Read more...]

There’s No Problem Like Maria

Love at last!  Meghan Merrill as Maria and Daniel Charon as von Trapp. Photo: Taylor Crichton, courtesy of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

So long, Fräulein Maria. Also farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye. Not au revoir, but (gulp) adieu.  I’m not talking about the heroine played by Julie Andrews in the film based on the Broadway show, The Sound of Music; I refer to Doug Elkins’s fabulously funny and adorable, gender-corkscrewing take on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved creation.  Fräulein Maria’s touring days are done. It will … [Read more...]