Two Masters of Improvisation

Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, and objects in their improvised Night Stand. Photo: Paula Court

Two stellar improvisers, Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson, recreate a 2004 work at Dia: Chelsea, October 10-12, 17-19. Steve Paxton and Lisa Nelson came to improvisation from different directions. She was a member of Daniel Nagrin’s Workgroup in the 1970s, the same decade during which Paxton developed contact improvisation. While he was investigating the dynamics of body against body, she was … [Read more...]

Three Men, Their World

Picking up the pieces. Rogers (foreground). At back: Viňarský (L) and Zuštiak. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Cloud Gate 2 presents On the Road for an all-male trio. Three men from Pavel Zuštiak/Palissimo Company perform Endangered Pieces. Three men in a tub. Three Musketeers; The Three Stooges; Chico, Harpo, and Groucho Marx; the three sailors in Jerome Robbins’s Fancy Free. What can they not get up to in the way of adventure, comradeship, and rivalry? A while back, Cheng Tsun-lung, the associate … [Read more...]

Boxed In and Kicking Out

Building and holding onto. (L to R): Francesca Romo, Caroline Fermin, Dan Walczak, and Matthew Perez in Andrea Miller's Fold Here. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance Company premieres a new work at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances, September 26 through 29, 2013. In titling her wild new work Fold Here, Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance Company must have been thinking of all the implications of the instructions. Folding along prescribed creases makes a flat sheet of corrugated cardboard into a three-dimensional … [Read more...]

Archived in the Blood

Kyle Abraham's Pavement. L to R: Matthew Baker, Chalvar Monteiro, Maleek Washington, Rena Butler, Jeremy "Jae" Neal, Eric Williams

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion presents Pavement at Jacob's Pillow, August 21-25 You walk down a street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. No, you don’t walk, you saunter—loose-limbed; cocky; taking big, easy steps.  You are a young black man, and this is a decades-old black neighborhood. Does your leisurely progress identify you as a power—a drug dealer, maybe? A gang leader?  Or are you a … [Read more...]

Again and Again, Never the Same

Jo-anne Lee and Brian Brooks in Big City. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Brian Brooks Moving Company performs at Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, Massachusetts, July 10-14. A machine repeats its patterned moves over and over; nothing changes unless one of its parts breaks or something gets caught in the works. Human beings may repeat the same movement many times, but to use the word “same” is simply a verbal convenience. Without meaning to, they may emphasize aspects of … [Read more...]

Playing Hard, Game Unknown

Jonathan Royse Windham (L) and Dan Walczak upend Francesca Romo in Andrea Miller's Blush. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu

Gallim Dance at BAM Fisher, May 21-26, 2013 What does “blush” convey to you?  A person becomingly embarrassed? A person ashamed? The reddening sky of dawn?  If it were not for the association of “flush” with toilets and wealth, I’d consider it an apter title than Blush for Andrea Miller’s revised 2009 dance. The six go-for-broke members of her Gallim Dance do indeed turn red in the face … [Read more...]

From Tunis to Ithaca

Inverting the world. Photo: Bénédikte Longechal

Jonah Bokaer performs his The Ulysses Syndrome with his father, Tsvi Bokaer, May 9 and 10, during the French Institute's World Nomads Festival. Ithaca is the island in the Ionian sea that Odysseus (aka Ulysses) left when he armed himself for the Trojan War, and it’s the place he returned to after ten postwar years of wandering. Ithaca, New York, is the city where Tsvi Bokaer finally settled … [Read more...]

Journeying Along Interior Trails

Souleymane Badolo in his Barack. Photo: Ian Douglas

Souleyman Badolo and Cynthia Oliver at New York Live Arts, April 25 through 27 At one point in Suleymane Badolo’s new solo, Barack, on the opening night of his season at New York Live Arts, Badolo dances with his back to the audience, clapping his hands together vigorously; when he stops, from the audience comes a small-voiced echo of his action (maybe two pairs of hands clapping) that … [Read more...]

Life Eats On

Liony Garcia dines on Melissa Toogood's hair. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, Baryshnikov Arts Center, April 18 and 19, 2013 Anyone who has ever felt fragile or off balance might be heartened by Rosie Herrera’s Dining Alone. Here’s one of many memorable passages. A woman (Ivonne Batanero) holds a stack of white dinner plates; a man (Liony Garcia), crouching beside her, takes the plates, one by one, from the pile and places them on the … [Read more...]

Giselle, Meet Hanako

Yasuko Yokoshi in Hanako's final transformation. Photo: Ian Douglas

Three barefoot women wearing long, deep-blue tutus; tight, white blouses; and blue stirrup socks confront a visitor. She is spectacularly attired in an embroidered kimono over a red velvet garment that terminates in pantlegs so full that they look like a skirt. Her wig is red and so is her lipstick. She has entered with the tiny, smooth steps of a Japanese Kabuki performer; the women in tutus have … [Read more...]