When celebrities venture outside their areas of expertise, the results arent always pretty. Just try to get through one of Madonnas childrens books or Scarlett Johanssons album of Tom Waits covers. And so, when French actress Juliette Binoche announced last year that she would be performing alongside top-notch British choreographer Akram Khan in a dance work called In-I, we were admittedly un peu sceptique.
DanceNOW [NYC] encourages artists to explore the challenge of creating work that is marked by brevity but still far-reaching in its clarity, influence and effect. The festival is turning 15 this year, and remains a great opportunity for both audiences and artists to experience a range of new work in an invigorating and celebratory context.
Sustainability is the word on everyones lips these days. Our financial practices, healthcare system, our agriculture and energy use, nearly all facets of our infrastructure are on the table for reform. Invigorated by economic pressures, environmental protection has emerged as a popular campaign not so much out of concern for ecological health, but because it is increasingly framed as financially sound and even patriotic.
And then we awoke. As from one of Regina Nejmans friends vivid dreams, the ones she had after she was abandonée after a lifelong relationship. The ones she related to Regina, her friend the dancer.
Pierre Rigals Press, which had its U.S. premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center September 10-12, is built around a central gimmick: a man moves within a small box of a stage whose ceiling lowers progressively through the course of the hour-long solo. I attended opening night and, against my better judgment, accepted a seat in the front row where audience members were subjected, unwittingly, to a kind of extreme sensory assault before the show began: blinding hot stage lights beat into our faces from above.
Modern dances anything-goes nature is all-accepting, making it difficult for audiences to discern not only what is and isnt good, but what is and isnt dance. Stumbling upon SHOT at the New Island Festival on Governors Island last month, for example, I could not be certain whether I was early or latethe 20-plus minute piece was scheduled to be performed at intervals throughout the evening, and the four dancers onstage, dressed in disparate gear, were moving their bodies in separate, exploratory spheres.