LESLIE ALLISON is a writer and musician. She composes choral music for performance collaborations with Francis Weiss Rabkin, and her illustrated chapbook of poetry about Martha Stewart, MARTHA, will be released in April 2015 by Ugly Duckling Presse.
DANCE AND PROCESS
By Leslie Allison
Kim Brandt, Alan Calpe, Rebecca Patek, and Gillian Walsh, curated by Sarah Michelson
The audience is still filing into the theater when Kim Brandts troupe of 24 dancersamongst them the other three choreographers on the billcollapse into a mountain of bodies onstage.
Pole dancing is a form generally excluded from the critical discourse surrounding dance, andthough increasingly less sodance is a form historically excluded from the critical discourse of fine arts and the museum. It is thrilling then to experience Gerard & Kellys P.O.L.E. (People, Objects, Language, Exchange), a series of events and performances at the New Museum that shrug off these distinctions and allow pole dance to exist both as Dance and as Fine Art, with capitals D, F, and A, respectively.
Effie Bowen looks people in the eye. She draws her viewers with her, deep into mysterious, glittering atmospheres. Performing her own choreography or that of regular collaborators like Jen Rosenblit and Kim Brandt, Bowens projects tend toward performance art.
Thick, white stripes are painted on the black back wall of The Kitchens stageimmediately evoking both the American flag and the slats of prison. Dancer Cassie Mey rises silently from her seated post and begins a transfixing, balletic solo.
Swiss choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsiss From A to B via C orbits around a brief reconstruction of the 17th-century Diego Velazquez painting Venus at her Mirror.
A note from the Editor: In the same spirit of the Music sections Undiscovered Lands, weve dedicated October to dancers who we believe deserve greater recognition. Spotlighted here are 16 artists who have captivated us with their virtuosity and inventiveness, their vulnerability and grace. By no means an exhaustive list, were excited to begin the conversation.