How Comfortable Are You?

Anneke Hansen's she is not a comfortable thing. Foreground: Hansen. Behind her; Alice MacDonald. Rear: Ashley Handel (L) and Emily Moore. Photo: S.E. Bicknell

Anneke Hansen Dance performs a new work at the Martha Graham Studio. I pondered the title of Anneke Hansen’s new, full-evening dance before I saw the piece and again as I was walking home from what is now the Martha Graham Studio Theater. she is not a comfortable thing. What can that mean? That being a woman sometimes means not being comfortable with your body? That the way some people … [Read more...]

Life as Disorder, Order as Life

Jeff Sykes (L) and Bryan Strimpel lift Matthew Albert in Brian Brooks's Run Don't Run. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

David Dorfman and Brian Brooks present new works in two of BAM's theaters. Choreographer David Dorfman wears his heart on his sleeve. As his newest work Come, and Back Again shows, it’s a very big heart and an imaginatively tailored sleeve. His past works have tackled political, historical, and social topics, but always in warmly personal ways. He’s not shy about friendship as a topic … [Read more...]

Re-visiting The Old, Exploring The New

Molissa Fenley's new Found Object. (L to R): Rebecca Chaleff, Peiling Kao, Molissa Fenley, and composer-vocalist Erin Gee. Phot: Ian Gibson

Molissa Fenley reconstructs two key works and fashions a new one at New York Live Arts, October 2 through 5. Elizabeth Streb is in the house!  Not everyone at New York Live Arts for the opening night of  Molissa Fenley and Company’s season would understand the exclamation point. I don’t deny Streb’s celebrity status in the downtown dance world, but the enthusiastic punctuation is there … [Read more...]

Asserting the Uncertain, Cooking the Rough

(L to R): Michael Ingle, Anna Adams Stark, Donna Cicchesi, and Tara O’Con in Flutter. Photo: Madeline Best

Megan V. Sprenger / MVworks at The Chocolate Factory and John J Zullo Dance/Raw Movement at St. Mark’s Church. When you’re watching Megan Sprenger’s absorbing new Flutter at the Chocolate Factory, you don’t think about butterflies poised above a blossom or birds winging to a new perch. Darker definitions come to mind: restless or uncertain movement, shivery excitement, “disturbance of the … [Read more...]

The Attraction of Opposites

Foreground: Ingle (L) and Wright. Behind them: Denisova and Phillips. Reflected in mirror: Ossorio and Thomas. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu.

Pam Tanowitz's The Spectators at New York Live Arts, May 15 through 18; Bill Young and Colleen Thomas's A Place in France at 100 Grand Street, May 16 through 19. Pam Tanowitz’s new The Spectators at New York Live Arts is so clean you could eat off it. Pristine patterns control the six dancers she deploys, and no move they make is blurred or loose. One of Tanowitz’s talents is making cool … [Read more...]

Both Sides Now

Marilyn Maywald on the table; Jon Kinzel behind her. Photo: Anjola Toro

Vicky Shick’s Everything You See. Presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, April 18 through 20. Imagine a richly busy world in which everyone is mostly at peace with everyone else, and all are serious about their work. Then think about that work. It’s unusual. The inhabitants swing their bodies and limbs into big, sweeping movements, but their patterns also incorporate small, … [Read more...]

Wild at Heart, Sometimes

Lochary wants YOU! Or not. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Summation Dance, BAM Fishman Space, April 11 through 13. What’s not to love?  That is, if you—like me—are easily entranced by the combination of formal purity and weirdness. When the lights come on in the black box of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fishman Space to signal the beginning of Sumi Clements’s Shift, three women stand, separated from each other and staring through us. It’s how … [Read more...]

The Animals Within

(L to R) Maggie Thom, Kayvon Pourazar, and Benjamin Asriel in Juliana F. May's Commentary = not thing. Photo: Ian Douglas

Over the years, thoughtful choreographers have turned to nature as a way of thinking about choreography. Isadora Duncan was drawn to wind and wave motion, Martha Graham to the ways in which emotion structures the body, Merce Cunningham to ideas about chance and indeterminacy in nature’s processes. It’s an interesting coincidence that, just recently, two groups—Jennifer Monson/iLAND at the … [Read more...]

Now You Know It, Now You Don’t

(L to R) Silas Riener, Michael Ingle, and Oisín Monaghan in Tere O'Connor's Poem. Photo: Ian Douglas

Tere O’Connor has been making wonderful, inscrutable dances for 20 years, and every one of them that I can remember stirred my mind around. As I watch his new double bill at New York Live Arts, Secret Mary and Poem, my life passes before me. Delete “my;” I’m experiencing life as dancing—with its beauties, its collisions, its planned meetings, and its daily load of non sequiturs that somehow add … [Read more...]

Then Plus Now

Setterfield amid the winding procession of photos come to life. Photo: Paula Court

David Gordon is the King of Repetition, and I don’t want to hear any back talk. He manages dance material like someone holding an object up to direct sun, then to a candle flame, setting it against different backgrounds, turning it sideways. “Look at it now. Now look again.” He’s also a master re-arranger—juxtaposing past to present, rehearsal to performance, new to old, life to art. Gordon was … [Read more...]