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...]

Does My Beginning Match Your Ending?

Framed: the cast of Beginning of the End of the. . . (not in costume). Photo: Andre Eccles

Ever since the 1970s, David Gordon has been educating us into seeing that there are always two sides to everything (perhaps simultaneously), that repetition can reveal change, that words are devious game-players, and that you could be your own grandma. In his dance-theater works, where process and product often dance in lockstep, a performer may comment on what she/he—or another performer—is … [Read more...]

“But if the cause be not good. . .”

King Henry's Troops. Photo: Paula Court

When David Gordon first presented his Dancing Henry Five in 2004, his reasons for choosing that particular Shakespeare play on which to wreak inspired havoc were obvious. In both England’s invasion of France in 1415 and the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq, the justification was flawed, and the evidence supporting it flimsy. Also, just as Prince Hal, a rowdy pub crawler, reformed with a … [Read more...]