New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns hovers in a side lunge. Her left leg is straight as a knife, and her calf slopes towards the ground like a ripe mango.
In 1920, when women won the right to vote in America, Martha Graham was 24. Graham was performing in the early modern dance group Denishawn and developing her own pelvis-driven movement style that would become the core of her company.
I once watched Lauren Bakst get accosted by a fan. A woman, intensely moved by Baksts performance at St. Marks Church in 2015, grabbed Bakst by both shoulders and launched into a monologue of praise that went something like this: Oh my God, Lauren, you were so beautiful. SO beautiful! Not that youre not always beautiful; youre ALWAYS beautiful. But this time you were different; you were so in your body. Because sometimes I see you get in your head, you know? Because youre so intelligent. SO intelligent! And on and on.
In The Realest MC, the hot button topics of gender expression, assimilation, bullying, and appropriation simmer with the threat of boiling over every now and then. The takeaway is powerfulprovocative ideas that linger in the mind long after the show ends.
Center-stage on all fours, atop a kind of inflatable mattress, she thrusts her hips in slow twerking movements. Her pink lipstick matches the sides of the inflatable. The stage is a pale grey. To a gently spoken soundtrack, she simultaneously lip-syncs: 18 year old ass, 18 school girls, 18 amateur, 18 and confused, 100 percent neoliberal.