Tere O’Connor at Dance Theater Workshop. Gina Performa asked me for my autograph, a cheeky start to a fun evening. I wrote a short review for the Urgent Artist here. Even shorter version: O’Connor makes good dances. And the piece looked like something I’d see at BAM.
Kinetic Cinema: Liquid Films. Great mix of art classics, historical footage, and new work. Dancers performing in water seems to beg for nudity.
Words on Dance at the Paley Center for Media. Film of Evelyn Cisneros interviewing Maria Tallchief in 1998. It is obvious why the world (and George Balanchine) fell for Maria Tallchief– what grace and charisma! What undeniable American charm! Plus snippets of her dancing onstage and in MGM’s Million Dollar Mermaid… speaking of liquid dance films, I should watch more Esther Williams.
Bill T. Jones at The Joyce. Overly institutional (comissioned for the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth). I wanted more challenges– this is a piece about American history, no? No passion or urgency here. I miss Jones’s physical presence onstage.
Ursula Endlicher at The New School. The room was all wrong– a terrible space for interactive work. None in the audience took up Endlicher’s proposal that we dance with the performers. Perhaps because we would have had to climb over solid rows of desks to get there.
Maura Donohue curates Food for Thought at Danspace Project. A highlight of my week-- high theatrics from Monstah Black, utter hilarity from GogGoVertigoat, and a high-energy finale by Jamal Jackson Dance Company. I’m particularly grateful to have seen Vanessa Anspaugh’s We Are Weather; its beautifully spun relationships are still with me.
Mari Osanai and Yuko Kaseki, CAVE New York Butoh Festival at Dance New Amsterdam. The festival has moved into a new phase (butoh-khan) and I have moved, ever subtly, from total befuddlement to the faintest glimmers of connection (if not understanding) regarding butoh. I hope to compose a longer post.
Inside and Outside the Institution: Curating, Producing, Presenting panel discussion at Center for Performance Research. Invigorating discussion of new media work, if the title was deceptive. “Inside the Institution” was present in full force, though one of those institutions was the young, experimental venue EMPAC. “Outside the Institution” was implied, at best. At least someone from 3LD or even PS122 could have been included? Still, a great start to a Sunday. I’ve been compelled to seek out new media events ever since.
PERFORMA 09 presents Anne Collod’s Anna Halprin. I have not yet been disappointed by the Judsonites. Heady and unsatisfying as the work can seem on paper, I am convinced, from the snippets of new work and recreations I have seen, that those artists were nothing short of brilliant. Then, one always wonders, how much has changed in the decades that have passed?
Speaking of the Judson pioneers, I did not see Deborah Hay and Yvonne Rainer, perhaps my personal most anticipated dance event of the season. I am trying to stay Zen about it. What’s done is done.