Author: Philip Gates

In Performance: La Ribot (Tanz im August)

Panoramix & Laughing Hole La Ribot Retrospective La Ribot, Tanz im August August 2017 The Spanish choreographer and multidisciplinary artist La Ribot, a pioneer of conceptual dance, is receiving a retrospective at Tanz im August including past work as well as new performances, film screenings, and a gallery installation. I caught two of the remounted works, Laughing Hole (from 2006, created by...

In Performance: Trajal Harrell, Caen Amour (Tanz im August)

Caen Amour Trajal Harrell Tanz im August, HAU2 August 17-19 “Hoochie in the front, koochie in the back,” explains the chipper woman who takes the stage early in Caen Amour to walk us through the performance. She is referring to the hoochie-koochie show, a pastiche of so-called “oriental” and “exotic” dance styles that emerged in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, which provides the framework...

In Performance: Rudi van der Merwe, Trophée (Tanz im August)

Trophée Rudi van der Merwe Tanz im August, Vierfelderhof August 19-20 The performance space (in this case, a field at the outer edges of the Berlin city limits) becomes a site to be conquered in Rudi van der Merwe’s outdoor Trophée. At one end of the field stands a white picket fence, the audience gathered a short distance behind it. From the faraway trees at the other end of the field, three figu...

In Performance: Lea Moro, FUN! (Tanz im August)

FUN! Lea Moro Tanz im August, HAU2 August 11-13 The title of FUN!, its aggressive capitalization and that emphatic punctuation, reads both as encouraging exhortation (have fun!) and vaguely threatening guarantee (you WILL have fun). It’s an apt encapsulation of a performance that, in its commitment to the relentlessly cheerful aesthetic of the amusement park, takes the spectator on an alternately ...

In Performance: Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Kalakuta Republik (Tanz im August)

Kalakuta Republik Serge Aimé Coulibaly Tanz im August, HAU 1 August 11-12 Kalakuta Republik, by the Burkinabé choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, takes its name from the residence of the Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti, a commune which Kuti declared to be independent of the Nigerian state. The tension between artists and political systems, the contribution of art to popular revolt and per...

In Performance: Alexandra Bachzetsis, Private: Wear a mask when you talk to me (Tanz im August)

Private: Wear a mask when you talk to me Alexandra Bachzetsis Tanz im August, HAU 2 August 11-13 As the audience takes their seats, choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis applies makeup at a small mirror; an unsurprising image, but this mirror is affixed to a camera tripod, occupying the place where a lens would normally be. This detail suggests that it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to craft your ...

In Performance: Ivy Baldwin Dance, Keen [No. 2]

Keen [No. 2] Ivy Baldwin Dance Abrons Arts Center 466 Grand St June 1-11 A massive installation constructed out of white paper (by the artists Wade Kavanaugh and Stephen B. Nguyen) fills the back wall of the Abrons Playhouse. Its elaborate, vaguely ominous assemblage of coils, tendrils, and vortexes loom over a single dancer alone in the space, but her bright orange leotard and grounded, deliberat...

In Performance: Breaking the Waves (Prototype Festival)

Prototype Festival Breaking the Waves Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek (USA) NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place January 6-9 Based on Lars Von Trier’s 1996 film of the same name, the new opera Breaking the Waves offers a grand showcase for the soprano Kiera Duffy. Duffy delivers a powerhouse performance as Bess McNeill, an unstable, lovestruck girl in a religious seasid...

In Performance: Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks…(S) (American Realness)

American Realness Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (S) Trajal Harrell (USA) Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse 466 Grand St January 6-10 The stage of the Abrons Playhouse has been transformed into a runway, a black strip running down the center of a white rectangle. There is an informal but buzzy vibe as the sold-out audience climbs the stairs onto the stage and takes its place on ...

In Performance: Karol Tyminski, This Is A Musical (American Realness)

American Realness This is a musical Karol Tyminski (Poland) Abrons Arts Center, Underground Theater 466 Grand St January 6-10 Karol Tyminski’s searing This is a musical offers up the queer body as a site of pleasure, trauma, and defiance. Tyminski begins by eliciting a variety of sounds from his body, slamming his back, legs, and hands against the floor to produce an array of thuds, slaps, and vio...

In Performance: AmeriSHOWZ, Circle of Champions 2017 (American Realness)

American Realness Circle of Champions 2017 AmeriSHOWZ (NYC) Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center 280 Broadway Jan 6 – 8pm Jan 7 – 8pm Jan 8 – 8pm AmeriSHOWZ, the brainchild of choreographer Alex Rodabaugh, advertises itself as “one of the world’s largest direct performance selling businesses.” If you’re confused as to what exactly this might mean, don’t worry: the AmeriSHOWZ team is he...

In Performance: Custodians of Beauty – Pavel Zustiak/Palissimo (COIL 2017)

PS 122 COIL 2017 Custodians of Beauty Pavel Zustiak/Palissimo (NYC) La MaMa, The Downstairs 66 E 4th St Jan 5 – 8pm Jan 6 – 5pm Jan 7 – 5:30pm Jan 8 – 2pm A dancer in all black, barely visible, folds into and out of himself, his body unfurling like a flower or a fractal. A cloud of haze hangs suspended in the air and slowly makes its way towards the audience. Three figures spring from side to side...

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