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TOYS R’NT US

Stephen Petronio Company / Joyce Theater, NYC / March 23-28, 2004 The press release for Stephen Petronio’s latest creation, The Island of Misfit Toys, being given its first New York showings at the Joyce, promised “themes that include obsession, guilt, insatiable desire and the mundane details of life.” The night I went, the crowd seemed wary—baffled perhaps—and gave it a lukewarm reception. C’mon, what’s not to like? For some eloquent London critics writing at its premiere last year, the piece epitomized the downtown New York Zeitgeist—all … [Read more...]

DARK VICTORY

Johannes Wieland / 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project at The Duke on 42nd Street, NYC / March 10-14, 2004 When Johannes Wieland operates in his signature style, he makes dances that are immaculately pared down and aggressive to the point of violence. Adamantly abstract on its surface, the work is haunted by subtle currents of emotion. His best achievement to date in this vein in the new Membrane, for eight black-clad dancers in a black-box void, only their faces, hands, and bare feet luminous as the moon in a midnight sky. The figures are … [Read more...]

IS LESS MORE?

Jonathan Burrows/Matteo Fargion / The Kitchen, NYC / March 11-13, 2004 Is less more? Answer: Yes, when we’re talking about Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion’s Both Sitting Duet. Performing the 45-minute piece they invented, the two guys sit on battered regulation-issue wooden chairs smack in the middle of a bare, black-box stage space. The chairs are congenially angled toward each other, as if set up for conversation. The men, who have a certain physical resemblance, are early middle-agers with compact bodies and keen, worn faces. Their … [Read more...]

Shannon Hummel/Cora; Anita Cheng Dance

Typically, the figures of [Hummel's] imagination relate intensely to one another, while the hows and whys of their liaisons remain enigmatic; Anita Cheng's dance imagination teems with ideas [but] the moment has come for [her] to work deep instead of wide. Village Voice 3/17/04 … [Read more...]

SHIFTING GEARS

Nederlands Dans Theater / BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, NYC / March 9-14, 2004 Come to us from The Hague and holding forth at BAM for the first time since 1999, Nederlands Dans Theater has changed while the New York audience wasn’t looking. For over a quarter century, it has been shaped by Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián, long its artistic advisor and still chief provider of its repertory. But, judging from Program A (a trio of Kylián works from the last two years), with which the group opened its weeklong run, the choreographer has … [Read more...]

Peter Boal & Company

Peter Boal: "The business of being a prince is not a look. It's not an action. It's a model. It's the supreme example of how to behave in life." Village Voice 3/10/04 … [Read more...]

PUPPET SHOW

Paul Taylor Dance Company / City Center, NYC / March 2-14, 2004 Paul Taylor's current two-week run at the City Center reveals the  company in splendid form, dancing as if an ardent, intensified study of echt Taylor style had reanimated it.  Old and recent masterworks-Aureole, Airs, Piazzolla Caldera, Promethean Fire-look reborn.  And you can spend an enchanted evening focusing on any one of three stellar women:  the veteran Silvia Nevjinsky, who has acquired a new softness, calm, and sculptural dimension; Annmaria Mazzini, … [Read more...]

Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance

Lavagnino uses [pointe work] not as the extension it is of classical ballet's svelte, codified vocabulary, but with deliberate perversity, as if the capability were a bizarre twist of nature. Village Voice 3/1/04 … [Read more...]

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