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The work . . . features Baldwin alongside ten performers, all women. The evening-length dance premiered at Abrons Arts Center this June as part of the Joyce Theaters Joyce Unleashed initiative. It makes no apologies for the space that it occupies, the sound that it projects, or the emotional depths that it scales.
A Karenina, a Cleopatra, an exotic dancer, a southern belle in S&M boots, a lady in a bare-bone hoopskirt, all gingerly shimmy across the stage, while making eye contact with audience members with come hither expressions on their faces. Moments later, the dancers gradually shed this bizarre veneer of seductiveness and begin to adopt an increasingly aggressive and animalistic stance, eventually sneering at the spectators like a pack of rabid dogs. Later still, they interrupt the barking fit abruptly, laughing it off dismissively.
Classical ballet is in ascendance, and it’s growing more diverse. Nearly a decade ago the life of classical ballet was in question.
The function of an archive is curiously enigmatic when it comes to dance. As an embodied practice, existing within time and space, dance is naturally passed on through lineages of dancers.
There are cultural niches waiting to be filled, some particular to Brooklyn, where the islands of the Caribbean come together. Candace Thompson realized this as an emerging choreographer who wondered how she could get her work more widely seen, and more specifically, how work like hers, imbued with both her formal training in modern dance and other dance idioms, and her Trinidadian heritage, could reach a Caribbean American audience in New York. Joining with others in the same situation, she founded Dance Caribbean Collective (DCC) to present their first program in June 2015.
In Laura Peterson Choreography’s evening-length work FAILURE, this question of how someone can “lose” dominates. “What is failure,” she asks in the program notes, “and how do we deal with itas individuals, and as communities?