To the Reader: This is the second in a projected series of brief pieces that I’ll be posting on SEEING THINGS along with my longer essays—and, of course, on Facebook.
Susan Marshall—a thinking person’s choreographer for sure—gave a weekend of performances in 92 Y’s Stripped/Dressed series, curated by Doug Varone. She transformed the dour, dance-history laden Buttenwieser Hall into a do-it-yourself Spiegeltent, a mobile cabaret-dance hall, in which she first talked about the origins of her Sawdust Palace, created for such a setting, and then ran it adorned with all its theatrical blandishments. The brief, intimate vignettes glowed with Marshall’s empathic insight into the strange subtleties of human emotion—seamlessly coupled with raunchy and funny material from yesteryear’s popular entertainment. My favorite number dealt with the brewing and drinking of tea. It involved a woman standing on her head and bending her legs at the hip to create a precarious, if flat support for a cup and saucer wielded by a gentleman bent on the process. The absurd combined with the erotic, as it so often does.
© 2012 Tobi Tobias