Author: Philip Wesley Gates

In Performance: Burgerz

BurgerzTravis Alabanza HAU Hebbel am Ufer, BerlinJune 28-30, 2019 In 2016, someone threw a burger at Travis Alabanza. The act occurred in public, and in broad daylight; the burger was accompanied by a transphobic slur. In Alabanza’s not-quite-solo performance Burgerz —presented as part of HAU’s festival “The Present is Not Enough: Performing Queer Histories and Futures” — this traumatic event...

In Performance: Jack Ferver, Everything is Imaginable (American Realness)

Everything Is ImaginableJack FerverAmerican Realness at New York Live ArtsJanuary 7-12, 2019 What makes a young gay boy, perceiving himself to be different, feel safe or whole? Who gives him inspiration, or permission, to be something he wants to be? In the first half of Everything Is Imaginable, Jack Ferver gives us a fantasia parade of such figures. One by one, his soloists—James Whiteside, Lloy...

In Performance: Joseph Keckler, Train With No Midnight (Prototype Festival)

Train With No Midnight Joseph Keckler Prototype Festival at HERE January 5-13, 2019 Do you remember the 2012 apocalypse? Joseph Keckler, silhouetted against a stuttering cloud of fog, begins his dark, off-kilter, hauntingly gorgeous cabaret by posing this question to the assembled audience. I don’t remember, of course, and nor does anyone else, because it didn’t happen. What I mostly remember is t...

In Performance: SOFTLAMP.autonomies (American Realness)

SOFTLAMP.autonomies Ellen Furey and Malik Nashad Sharpe American Realness at University Settlement January 7-10, 2019 As the dancers Ellen Furey (based in Montreal) and Malik Nashad Sharpe (a New Yorker based in the UK) began yet another iteration of a looped unison sequence—which had already been and would continue to be repeated beyond anything close to an expected duration—I found myself thinki...

In Performance: Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods, Until Our Hearts Stop

UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods NYU Skirball Center May 4 & 5, 2018 When a disgruntled spectator walked out of the theater forty-five minutes into Saturday night’s performance, he took the time before exiting to announce to the room “how embarrassing and disgusting” the work was. The two performers onstage instantly stopped their activity (a playful, inquisitive exploration of e...

In Performance: Simone Aughterlony & Jen Rosenblit (American Realness)

"This is a kind of (dis)assembly, a kind of cohabitation, and a kind of care. This, too, fits in the room."

In Performance: Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen)

Electric Lucifer Jim Findlay and Philip White The Kitchen January 9-13 A scene of creation and curiosity launches Electric Lucifer, but this particular scene is not found anywhere in Genesis or Milton. No, this scene comes from a much more recent source: none other than “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” In a projected video clip, we see Fred Rogers making a visit to the studio of Bruce Haack, the ele...

In Performance: Variations on Themes from Lost and Found (American Realness)

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez with Nick Hallett and Jennifer Monson presented by Danspace Project, Gibney Dance & American Realness 2018 January 9-13 A mysterious crash reverberated through the sanctuary of St. Mark’s Church, interrupting co-directors Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierr...

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...

Contemporary Choreography: In Conversation with Alex Rodabaugh

The Contemporary Performance Think Tank is housed in the John Wells Directing Program MFA at Carnegie Mellon University’s School Of Drama under the direction of Caden Manson. Each year the Think Tank focuses on a set of topics concerning the fields of Theater and Contemporary Performance and conducts research and interviews to produce a paper as a resource for practitioners. This ye...

What is Contemporary Choreography?

. Each year the Think Tank focuses on a set of topics concerning the fields of Theater and Contemporary Performance and conducts research and interviews to produce a paper as a resource for practitioners. This year’s topic is contemporary performing artists and companies redefining relationships with audience and pushing the formal relationships of architecture, artist, and audience. For this pape...

In Performance: Will Rawls, I make me [sic]

I make me [sic] Will Rawls at PICA as part of TBA:17 September 8 & 9, 2017 Space. A blinking cursor in a blank document projected on the wall. A garment rack. A balloon resembling one of Andy Warhol’s silver clouds. An imposing wall of letters and symbols organized into a kind of hybrid, linguistic-pictorial QWERTY keyboard. A strip of white marley stretching across two walls of the room, inte...