Abrons Arts Center

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: Nora Chipaumire, #PUNK (American Realness)

Punk is a noun, punk is an adjective. Punk is torn white t-shirts, distorted power cords, and angry adolescent growls into a mic. But in Nora Chipaumire’s latest piece presented as part of American Realness, punk is, first and foremost, a verb.

In Performance: Neal Medlyn, I HEART PINA (American Realness)

I <3 PINA Neal Medlyn American Realness, Abrons Arts Center January 11-16 “I feel weird about Pina Bausch and I feel weird about dance and I feel weird about romance and I feel weird about being a fan. I’m mainly interested in two things from Pina Bausch’s work: fandom and romance.” So starts the program note to Neal Medlyn’s I <3 PINA, words that are also projected during the performance. Behind almost the entirety of the performance is a constant, slow scroll of words, a fascinating wealth of context to Medlyn’s latest creation. Much of Medlyn’s work has dealt with celebrity, and I <3 PINA, focusing on the legendary dancer, of course does, too. As Medlyn writes, it certainly deals with fandom and romance, but to put it another way, it also deals with legacy and deep loneliness, ...

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 three sides of the runway. Are we attending a fashion show, a social event, an artistic performance? The space begins to articulate the intentions of Trajal Harrell’s solo, a remounting of the first work in his Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church series. Further guidance is provided by a leaflet that Harrell himself hands out at the beginning of the performance, which lists the t...

In Performance: Ligia Lewis – Minor Matter (American Realness 2017)

Ligia Lewis – Minor Matter (US Premier) Sunday, January 8, 5pm – SOLD OUT* Monday, January 9, 7pm – SOLD OUT* Tuesday, January 10, 4pm – SOLD OUT* Abrons Arts Center, Experimental Theater 466 Grand Street, Manhattan Minor Matter is uncomfortable. Rage in the black body is a polarizing subject in black culture. It’s as personal as a secret. Minor Matter explores the various ways black rage manifests and how it effects the community at large. Choreographer/Performer Ligia Lewis and her collaborators Jonathan Gonazalez and Hector Thami Manekehla fuse anger with everything from the mundane to the intimate. Their movement is athletic and powerful. Sometimes you can’t tell if the performers are loving or fighting. Humor feels like a slap. The show uses a limited pallet in evoca...