In Performance

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 each other’s nude bodies) and sprang into defensive crouches, darting glances towards the voice at the back of the house, like startled animals ready to fight. Waves of warm laughter swept through the audience, not only in appreciation of the performers’ quick response, but because their reaction, slyly exaggerated as it was, was shared by many of us. Until that moment, embarrassment and disgust ha...

See Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods’ Until Our Hearts Stop May 4 & 5, 2018 at 7:30pm (NYC)

Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods’ Until Our Hearts Stop choreographed by Meg Stuart Friday, May 4 & Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 pm Tickets: $40 NYU Skirball 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square In UNTIL OUR HEARTS STOP, six performers and a three-piece, onstage jazz band, find themselves in an unreliable, high-octane refuge, both nightclub and an arena: a place of desire and illusion, experiencing extreme intimacy at each other’s hands. To the sound of throbbing basses, piano and drums – a mix between improvisation and composition – they connect and explore each other, drawing the audience into their immersive world. Stuart drew inspiration from people who retreat from the real world and construct their own, fantastic set of rules. The performers are forced to connect in uncomfortable, yet pla...

In Performance: nora chipaumire, portrait of myself as my father (Walker Art Center)

portrait of myself as my father nora chipaumire Walker Art Center March 23-25, 2018 A boxing ring is the setting for nora chipaumire’s sparring match with the spectre of her father. The Walker Art Center’s patrons, transplanted to a mildly dilapidated industrial neighborhood and welcomed into the Uppercut Boxer Center (which has the faint scent of all old-school sports facilities: sweat and old socks) may feel out of their comfort zone already as they make their way past chipaumire herself on the way into the performance space. The mostly-white audience ducks under the elastic tether by which chipaumire is bound to the large boxing ring, and they hurry to find seats as chipaumire scolds them to sit down in a mix of English and pidgin. The boxing ring provides a prominent metaphor for chipa...

In Performance: Performance Space New York – East Village Series (NYC) Feb 17 & 18, 2018

East Village Series Performance Space New York Welcome to Lenapehoking February 17, 2018 4PM @ PSNY FREE Avant-Garde-Arama Sunday, February 18 6pm–9pm Performances and Open House 9pm–1am Dance party with JD Samson, Justin Strauss, and more 12:30am Last Entry @ PSNY FREE Performance Space New York (formerly Performance Space 122) presents the East Village Series, its first semi-annual themed series, and the first program curated by the institution’s new Executive Artistic Director, Jenny Schlenzka. This presentation of works from some of today’s most radical performers and multidisciplinary artists resituates the institution in newly revamped spaces, designed by Deborah Berke Partners, in 122 Community Center (150 First Avenue, at East 9th Street), where Performance Space 122 was founded, a...

In Performance: Claire Cunningham & Jess Curtis, The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight (American Realness)

The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight Claire Cunningham & Jess Curtis American Realness, Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center January 10-13, 2018 The Way You Look (At Me) Tonight is a collaborative, exploratory performance of a collaborative exploration into dance, disability, and sensation and the act of looking. Undertaken by San Francisco contemporary dance mainstay Jess Curtis and Scottish disabled artist Claire Cunningham, the piece unfolds as an attempt to understand each other, partly through conversation and partly through shared movement practice. Collaborative spirit runs through the work beyond the lead artists, as well. The performance is haunted by video of philosopher Dr. Alva Noë, who appears from time to time seemingly to connect the proceedings to a longer histo...

In Performance: Marissa Perel, (Do Not) Despair Solo (American Realness)

(Do Not) Despair Solo Marissa Perel American Realness, Abrons Art Center January 13-16, 2018 I wonder if it was an oversight or a stroke of curatorial brilliance. None of Abrons Art Center’s theaters are particularly accessible to people with physical disabilities, but the Underground Theater, host to Marissa Perel’s (Do Not) Despair Solo, is particularly inaccessible. When Perel (pronounced Peril, and used as a nominative) first appears in the space, they explain that they would not attend a performance in this space were they not performing it; then their collaborator Elliott Cennetoglu, in the first of many acts of service work, carries them downstairs from the theater door to the stage. (Do Not) Despair Solo introduces itself as a lecture performance, and also as an attempt to communic...

In Performance: Adrienne Truscott, THIS (American Realness)

THIS Adrienne Truscott American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 14-16, 2018 The story of Adrienne Truscott’s solo titled THIS, as overheard in the lobby: in 2016, Truscott was commissioned by New York Live Arts to make a new comedy piece with an international group of feminist women comedians. To make a long story short, things didn’t go according to plan: by 2017, a key curator was gone, funding had been significantly reduced, and Donald Trump was president. Truscott could no longer make the piece she wanted to make, but artists need to get paid. So, instead of making that, she made… THIS. THIS is a total disaster—on purpose, and in a good way. If the show’s genesis, and maybe also the country as a whole, is “literally on fire,” then so the show is too. It is good therapy for a traum...

In Performance: 600 Highwaymen, The Fever (Out There)

600 Highwaymen The Fever Walker Art Center, Out There Festival The audience enters The Fever by 600 Highwaymen at the Walker’s McGuire Theater through a backstage door and steps onto the stage, which is laid with red floor and surrounded by a single row of chairs. The expectations of these spectators about their usual role have already begun to erode.  Many of these patrons attend the entire Out There Festival, which included Antigonon, uncontingente epico and Mercurial George as well as the upcoming Real Magic. But for these attendees, tonight’s performance will involve more than simply sitting in the dark and observing. 600 Highwaymen will ask their audience to create a community together– to participate in telling a communal story and to embody the performance itself. At first the...

In Performance: Claire Moodey/Lacy Post, femme pathos (Exponential Festival)

With courageous and unassuming candor, Claire Moodey walks onto the Brick Theater stage and plays us a voicemail from her mother. It is surprisingly long, rather upbeat, and circles in loops of logic that are challenging to keep up with. We hear a mother’s gentle love--she’s calling her daughter to say hi, report on hometown goings-on, see if she needs anything--and we also hear an earnest absurdity as sentences run-on and she jumps too quickly from topic to topic.

In Performance: Angela Goh, Desert Body Creep (COIL)

Desert Body Creep Angela Goh COIL, Performance Space New York January 16-17 Desert Body Creep, choreographed and performed by Angela Goh with sound operation by Matt Cornell, is something of a post-anthropocene hallucination. As Goh literally moves through choreographies, sounds, and objects, the mundane becomes uncanny. Goh’s body turns until it becomes an object, which then comes back to life, becomes the earth, and regenerates itself. It’s a methodical yet dizzying evolution involving a giant gummy worm, a mint-hued crushed velvet tube, and shrinkwrap, underscored in cinematic turns by shredding guitar solos, pop music, and Goh’s own voice in haunting choral overtones. The result is a capitvating, unaffected disorientation posing questions of objectification inside the environment and t...

In Performance: Mariana Valencia, ALBUM (American Realness)

ALBUM Mariana Valencia American Realness, Abrons Arts Center Underground Theatre January 11-15 Mariana Valencia spends the majority of ALBUM staring directly at the audience. Her near affectless gaze conjures a tone of observational objectivity which deftly frames the central questions of her personal dance-music-text ethnography: who writes history, and thus decides who makes it into the records, and who is erased? What qualities make a work of art worthy of, say, a Nobel prize, and how do those standards define cultural paradigms of genius? ALBUM proposes an alternative to the norm in the form of Valencia’s own life, driven in part by her Latinx and queer identities. ALBUM asks what might happen if the marginalized rewrote the standards in their own image. While Valencia’s life is the co...

In Performance: Gordon/Artman/Fish, Acquanetta (PROTOTYPE)

Upon entering the auditorium in the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, the audience is met with a larger-than-life projection screen. Its big size makes a big impact--as does its light color amidst the rest of the stage, which seems shallow and dark. But there are hidden depths to that stage and they surprise throughout Acquanetta, an opera inspired by a 1940s actress of the same name who kept much of herself hidden, too.

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