What Do You Mean By “Meaning?”

Neil Greenberg's This. (L to R): Mina Nishimura and Molly Lieber. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Neil Greenberg premieres This at New York Live Arts. Choreographer Neil Greenberg doesn’t like the word “about,” as in, “What is this dance about?” Having been a member of Merce Cunningham’s company between 1979 and 1986 and having read Susan Sontag’s influential 1966 Against Interpretation, he would prefer we not scramble to uncover “meaning” while watching what he puts onstage. The title … [Read more...]

To Each Her Own With Others

Eleanor Smith in Ivy Baldwin's Oxbow. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Ivy Baldwin Dance at BAM Fisher and Hilary Easton + Co. at Danspace St. Mark's. Every now and then, I sift through a horde of ancestral photographs, puzzling over how some of the images fit into the structure I call “my family.” Some from the 20th century are impulsive and particular. A solitary child wearing a bib (me) squints at a small birthday cake with two candles on it. Generations … [Read more...]

Quiet Flowering

(L to R): Maggie Thom, Jodi Melnick,and Emmagrace Skove-Eppes in Melnick's Moment Marigold. Photo: Ian Douglas

Jodi Melnick presents a trio, Moment Marigold, at BAM Fisher. When is a theme not a theme? When is a person not a persona? Jodi Melnick raises these questions in a brief program essay about her new Moment Marigold. She also noted that she begins the choreographic process by working in a studio by herself, letting movement ideas emerge. Creating this work, which premiered at BAM Fisher, she … [Read more...]

Blurring Thresholds

John Jasperse's Within between. Standing: Burr Johnson and Maggie Cloud. On floor (L to R): Simon Courchel and Stuart Singer. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

John Jasperse brings diverse sources and his own history into a bold new work at New York Live Arts, May 28 through 31. John Jasperse is not the kind of choreographer who draws a movement style out of his own body and sensibility and sticks with it. He reacts to ideas floating around in the culture, queries his own practice, tries something he hasn’t tried before. Often the movement he … [Read more...]

Small-Frame Vignettes

Omagbitse Omagbemi in Barbara Kilpatrick's costume. Photo: Yi-Cun Wu

Vicky Shick and colleagues premiere a new work. The second week of April, 2014, both the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the Stephen Petronio Company performed in New York. The following week, and further uptown, Vicky Shick premiered her Pathétique/Miniatures in Detail. An enlivening coincidence. Shick, like Petronio, performed in Brown’s company for a number of years—in her case from … [Read more...]

How Many Make a Solo?

Amanda Loulaki and friend in her Forested. Photo: Brian Rogers

Luciana Achugar and Amanda Loulaki present new solos in New York. When is a solo not a solo?  Or perhaps the question might be this: Is a solo ever a solo—given that anywhere from two people to an audience of hundreds might be watching a supposedly solitary performer having a private experience? Luciana Achugar’s new Otro Teatro was advertised as a solo, but, in fact, it was a solo with a … [Read more...]

Printed on the Space

Beth Gill's New Work for the Desert. Foreground: Jennifer Lacey and Stuart Singer. At back: Marilyn Maywald on Heather Lang. Photo: Cherylynn Tsushima

Beth Gill and New York Live Arts and Lance Gries at Danspace St. Marks make a virtue of economy. In the deserts of the American Southwest, everything counts: the immense sky, that butte over there, those spiky plants, the track in the red earth (lizard? Maybe).  Beth Gill’s beautiful New Work for the Desert has that kind of clarity. Watching it, you sense open space and the trails that … [Read more...]

How Many Sallys Does It Take . . .?

Melissa Toogood and Dylan Crossman in Sally Silvers's Confected Size. Photo: Karen Robbins

Sally Silvers, Sally Gross, and Sally Bowden share a program. “Sally.” Seldom has an evening of dance been more appropriately titled. The performances presented by the Construction Company at the University Settlement on Eldridge Street showcased choreography by three vintage Sallys: Sally Gross, who was involved with Judson Dance Theater in the 1960s; Sally Bowden, who emerged in the … [Read more...]

Darkness and Light, Heat and Ice

Dave Ruder and Gelsey Bell singing in Kimberly Bartosik's You are my heat and glare. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Kimberly Bartosik/Daela premieres a work at New York Live Arts A lighting designer and a choreographer walk into a bar and. . . . No this is not a way to begin, especially if a joke doesn’t ensue; instead, the sentence announces a life-and-art collaboration that more likely began backstage. Kimberly Bartosik, the choreographer, and Roderick Murray, the lighting designer, have … [Read more...]

Islands Meet Underwater

Bessie McDonough-Thayer carries Eleanor Smith, Addys Gonzalez looks on in Vanessa Anspaugh's We Were an Island. Photo: Ian Douglas

Vanessa Anspaugh presents a new work at Danspace St. Marks. “No man is an island,/ Entire of itself,/ Every man is a piece of the continent,/A part of the main.” John Donne knew that in 1623 when, in bed with an undetermined illness, he wrote “Meditation XVII” of his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions.  Choreographer Vanessa Anspaugh may have had something similar in mind when she titled her … [Read more...]