Dancing in the New Year
A new year brings new possibilities. As we enter into the December/January issue, which for the Rail represents the New Year, I am honored to introduce myself as the new editor of this section.
Since I can remember, I have been dancing, and since being introduced to dance criticism and writing over 10 years ago, I have remained an active, passionate participant as a performer, choreographer, writer, and fundraiser. For these reasons, I am thrilled to continue my participation in the field of dance as an editor for the Brooklyn Rail. Dance writing at the Brooklyn Rail has always strongly emphasized the coverage of new and established choreographers alike—something I intend to continue. Moving forward, I want to expand dance criticism in this section, maintain the quality and quantity of features, essays, and personal accounts that have always been written here, while occasionally devoting certain issues to dance photography.
I plan to continue a column tradition established by former editor Vanessa Manko: Dancing on the Rail. I may change the name, but the ideas remain the same. I’ll touch on the unique qualities I see coming forth in dance, and comment on the commonalities among a month’s worth of work, and what I feel are the interesting things to look out for.
If the end of 2006 reflects on the beginning of 2007 in dance performances, then that is an indication we have a great year ahead of us. As we bring in the New Year, the long established favorites in dance and dance theater are stepping forward in numbers.
Pina Bausch @ BAM, Dec. 8 - 16. www.bam.org ♦ Bill T. Jones @ Harlem Stage at the Gatehouse, Dec. 5 - 9. www.harlemstage.org ♦ David Parsons @ The Joyce Theater, Dec. 5 - 17. www.joyce.org ♦ Richard Move @ DTW, Dec. 19 - 23. www.dtw.org ♦ Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo @ The Joyce Theater, Dec.19 - Jan.7 ♦ Susan Marshall @ DTW, Jan. 22 - Feb. 3.
The next two months are not just about established work, but also new artists coming together in festival and in process. We have ample opportunity to witness creations presented one after the other, which alight what is, in fact, going on in our field.
Movement Research Festival @ Danspace Project at St.Marks Church , Dec. 8 - 10. www.movementresearch.org ♦ Dance and Process @ The Kitchen, Dec. 20 - 21. www.thekitchen.org ♦ Draftwork @ Danspace Project at St. Marks Church, Dec. 16. www.danspaceproject.org ♦ Raw Material @ Dance New Amsterdam, Dec. 7 - 9. www.dnadance.org
And finally the Barnard Project at DTW brings it all together. Artists Gabri Christa, Jeanine Durning, David Neumann, and Reggie Wilson meet next generation’s dancers at Barnard College, and work with them on established pieces that are then presented December 7-9.
It all makes for a promising 2007. While I am grateful to have this opportunity to share my vision of dance in New York today, I do hope to hear from you, the readers. In the spirit of the Brooklyn Rail—which seeks to uncover arts, politics, and criticism—I seek out your input. This section is a continuing conversation, and I am hopeful to make the dialogue even more direct. I am eager to hear your thoughts and to further strengthen communication and coverage of the field that I love so much and that we are all a part of—dance.
Here’s to dancing in the New Year! @brooklynrail.org
four from field recordings of mind in morningBy Hank Lazer
JUL-AUG 2021 | Poetry
Hank Lazer’s poems in the Brooklyn Rail are from his forthcoming book field recordings of mind in morning (BlazeVOX), which will include links to musical improvisations with composer and banjo player Holland Hopson. Lazer has published thirty-one books of poetry, including COVID 19 SUTRAS (2020, Lavender Ink), Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), Poems That Look Just Like Poems (2019, PURH – one volume in English, one in French), Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27), (2018, Negative Capability Press), and Thinking in Jewish (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink). In 2015, Lazer received Alabama’s most prestigious literary prize, the Harper Lee Award, for lifetime achievement in literature.
Editor’s NoteBy Will Chancellor
FEB 2021 | Fiction
This month were pleased to publish an excerpt from Vesna Marics The President Shop. The novels backdrop is an allegorical country, The Nation, steeped in tyranny, but the focus is on the human rather than the trappings of propaganda. I was struck by the young woman, Mona, decoding the timelessness thats always present, even as we pass through moments that are consciously historic. Symbology, by Betsy M. Narváez, abounds in images, meanings, dreams, and visions. Here, theres no official, waking world, little external at all. Narváez gives us resonant moments over coffee of a mother and a daughter unpuzzling the language of dreams. Were also tremendously fortunate to have Maisy Card stepping in as co-editor of the fiction section of the Brooklyn Rail. Her debut novel, These Ghosts are Family, masterfully courses through the history of a family while communicating the texture and hunger of life as it was lived.
Thinking with the Body: Dance and Performance at the 13th Gwangju BiennaleBy Emily May
MARCH 2021 | Dance
This years Gwangju Biennale, set to take place in Gwangju, South Korea in April, includes the work of two celebrated choreographers, Trajal Harrell and Cecilia Bengolea. Through interviews with these dance artists and the biennales curators, Emily May explores the history of Gwangju; the organizing theme of Intelligence and the Expanded Mind; and the prominence of performance in the program.
Wardell Milan: Bluets & 2 Years of Magical ThinkingBy Joel Danilewitz
MAY 2023 | ArtSeen
Walking through Wardell Milans new show at Sikkema Jenkins, I felt among his fleeting figures. In his exhibit, Bluets & 2 Years of Magical Thinking, the collages, sculptures, and paintings produce an intimate atmosphere. The audience forms a loose communion as they wander the three large rooms of the gallery, apprehending his vast paintings upon entrance.