The Beautiful Complications of Simplicity

Brian Brooks's Torrent. Foreground: Haylee Nichele and Jeff Sykes. At back (L to R): Daniel Ching and Dean Biosca. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Brian Brooks Moving Company brings new and old works to the Joyce Theater If I were asked to put choreographer Brian Brooks into a category, I’d have to coin a term: maximinimalist. His works are economical in terms of material and/or structure, but enriched into expressiveness by the ways in which he builds them. Take his 2010 Motor, which made an unexpected appearance on Brian Brooks … [Read more...]

Moves at LaMaMa

Jane Comfort's Altiplano
(L to R): Gabrielle Revlock (hidden, Ellen Smith Ahern, Petra van Noort, Darrin Wright, Sean Donovan, Javier Perez, Leslie Cuyjet.
Photo: Lim Jinyoui

Jane Comfort and Company and Jon Kinzel present new works. Jane Comfort is a master teller of tales—not straight linear narratives, but dances that bristle with content—often social and/or political, often involving spoken text. She has always ingeniously layered and juxtaposed elements and viewpoints that might strike anyone else as incompatible and made them ignite one another. Her 1988 … [Read more...]

Eyes: Open and Shut

(L to R): Weena Pauly and Katie Workum in Black Lakes. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

[Katie Workum's Black Lakes at St. Mark's Church, April 9 through 11] I didn’t read the note that Katie Workum added to the program for her Black Lakes. This was not because I heeded her spoiler alert, which warned spectators who liked to approach a work with fresh eyes not to read further. I didn’t see even see the alert. I came to the Danspace Project presentation in St. Mark’s church … [Read more...]

Two Becoming One Remaining Two

06MollyLieber&EleanorSmith_RudeWorld_byBaranova

My introduction to the work of Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith was a more intimate one than I would have expected. I had missed—my loss—their Beautiful Bone (2012) and Tulip (2013) and trekked to the Chocolate Factory to see the Rude World, with my eyes and mind wide open and my ears pricked. For the third part of this triptych (a co-commission and co-presentation of the Chocolate Factory and … [Read more...]

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...]