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Dance

IN-I: JULIETTE BINOCHE AND AKRAM KHAN SEPTEMBER 15-20 AT BAM

When celebrities venture outside their areas of expertise, the results aren’t always pretty. Just try to get through one of Madonna’s children’s books or Scarlett Johansson’s 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]: STILL PLAYFUL AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

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.

CROSS POLLINATION: DANCE AND THE GREEN MOVEMENT

“Sustainability” is the word on everyone’s 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.

SHE MUST BE DREAMING: REGINA NEJMAN’S SURREAL DELETE/HER SEPTEMBER 9-10 AT DIXON PLACE

And then we awoke. As from one of Regina Nejman’s friend’s vivid dreams, the ones she had after she was abandonée after a lifelong relationship. The ones she related to Regina, her friend the dancer.

PRESS UP CLOSE

Pierre Rigal’s 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.

DUTCH IN THE DARK: ANOUK VAN DIJK’S SHOT AT THE NEW ISLAND FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 10-20

Modern dance’s anything-goes nature is all-accepting, making it difficult for audiences to discern not only what is and isn’t good, but what is and isn’t 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 late—the 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.

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OCT 2009

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