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Siobhan Burke

SIOBHAN BURKE writes for the New York Times and Dance Magazine. She teaches at Barnard College.

In Conversation

CROSSOVER ARTIST
CLAUDIA LA ROCCO with Siobhan Burke

I first met Claudia La Rocco in 2009, when I took her Writing on Dance class at what was then Dance Theater Workshop. The course began from the simple premise, a revelation to me at the time, that criticism is an art form in itself.

AND YOU THOUGHT GRAHAM WAS OLD-SCHOOL

Dancers sharing the stage with actors; movement mingling with text; passages from Walt Whitman and Sinclair Lewis juxtaposed with quotes from Bitch Ph.D. (a popular feminist blog) and references to Twitter. Irony. Interdisciplinarity.

FLICFest TRIPTYCH

I. Critical dilemma: my friend is in the show.“The dance world is a small one and a great one, don’t you think?” a colleague wrote to me last week (in a note sent via snail mail, in a chipper font simulating handwritten cursive) after a networking brunch the weekend before.

Obeying = Acting Out in Brother of Gogolorez

I wasn’t at Yvonne Meier’s show the night that Arturo Vidich reportedly tried to make out with Gia Kourlas (the New York Times critic). But that’s the kind of thing that happened during the three-evening run of Brother of Gogolorez, which premiered at St. Mark’s Church last month. .

Of Cosmos, Cake, and Crossing Disciplines

On the train ride back, Carrie tells me that her friend told her that astrologically, March this year is a very charged month. A particular celestial body (she doesn’t know which) is completing its orbit for the first time in a long time (she can’t say how long). 

Going Forward, Going Back

omeday, we will be able to talk about Irish dance without the words Riverdance or “Michael Flatley” entering the conversation. We’re not there yet. But Colin Dunne is bringing us closer.

Adventures In Realness

He is tall and gangly, maybe 50 years old. But he does what he does with the unselfconsciousness, the unpremeditated-ness, the unapologetic-ness, of a child. That quality you fear you’ve lost and will spend your whole adulthood trying to recover: He has it.

At Home in the Body

Imagine the body as a loyal companion, a trusted guide, a sturdy shelter that is, nonetheless, impermanent.

Closer, Please

If you condense the lengthy title of luciana achugar’s new work—extract the run-on middle from the succinct ends—you get the phrase “FEEL FORM.” A press release for the show shed some light on this particular pairing of words: The all-female quartet, it said, “makes the form of the dance palpable to the audience, collapsing the difference between ‘seeing’ the dance versus ‘feeling’ the dance.”

Writing About That

“I mean, how do you write about that?” said the woman sitting behind me, extending a hand toward the yellow plastic baseball bat and ripped-up cardboard boxes strewn across floor—the deserted aftermath of Kota Yamazaki’s duet with Masanori Asahara.

Gathering Momentum

Murmurs of “Wow, I’m so . . . happy” and “How good do you feel right now?” could be heard in the aisles of New York Live Arts on Friday, October 19, as the audience filed out after Steven Reker/People Get Ready’s Specific Ocean.

Protective Frost

We ate chicken at the Thai place around the corner—we couldn’t believe how much chicken for how little money—then walked to the gallery to see the performance-installation critiquing the mass production of meat.

In Conversation

SOON THE EARTH WILL BE IN THE SQUARE
JILL SIGMAN with Siobhan Burke

Jill Sigman likes to joke that plants are temperamental collaborators. “I used to think it was hard working with dancers. But plants? They’re very capricious and fragile. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

396 Words on Trisha Brown

(10) When’s the last time you tried to spell “hypotenuse”? If you like lines, you can’t not like this dancing. The tyranny of description, of accurate description. You don’t know any words. (9) Everything is a pendulum. Everything is a propeller.

Houses without Masters: Part 1 of 2 on "Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings, and People in the Streets"

Edwin Denby died in 1983. I met him in 2006 (he would have been 103), if reading him counts as meeting him. I was taking a dance criticism course, and my teacher, Mindy Aloff, assigned his Dance Writings and Poetry, introducing me to endlessly readable essays like “Three Sides of Agon” (even the title makes you want to hold it up, inspect the choreography) and “Against Meaning in Ballet,” which I now assign to my students.

HOUSES WITHOUT MASTERS
Part 1 of 2 on “Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings, and People in the Streets”

Edwin Denby died in 1983. I met him in 2006 (he would have been 103), if reading him counts as meeting him. I was taking a dance criticism course, and my teacher, Mindy Aloff, assigned his Dance Writings and Poetry, introducing me to endlessly readable essays like “Three Sides of Agon” (even the title makes you want to hold it up, inspect the choreography) and “Against Meaning in Ballet,” which I now assign to my students.

BUILDING AND UNBUILDING
Part 2 of 2 on Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings, and People in the Streets

At the closing of Danspace Project’s Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings and People in the Streets, I sensed some fatigue in the room. The final event was a panel discussion in two parts, and I was one of the panelists, so I can’t say this perception was entirely objective.

Artful Limbo

Even before Pavel Zuštiak’s Amidst begins, you feel pleasantly disoriented. A thick fog fills the sprawling second floor theater at Performance Space 122.

In Conversation

ROSEANNE SPRADLIN with Siobhan Burke

In my memory of RoseAnne Spradlin’s beginning of something, I am gazing up at four towering women. They are fearless and fearful, shattered and whole, naked and clothed, exhausted and inexhaustible.

Drawing with the Body

When I walked into On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century at the Museum of Modern Art, the first thing I saw was William Forsythe’s 1997 Solo, a dance for black-and-white film, projected on the gallery wall.

US-THEM|THEM-US

Audience. Performer. One can’t exist without the other. Why, then, the stubborn boundary between the two?

Class Consciousness

We’re sitting in a coffee shop on twentieth, between seventh and eighth. It’s the kind of idyllic April day that makes you think in platitudes and take yourself totally seriously: “Life’s too short.” “Live in the moment.” “I had a breakthrough.”

Nine Goodbyes

What’s really extraordinary about Merce is that if you look at a list of people who say they’ve been influenced or affected by him, there aren’t any two choreographers that are anything like each other . . .

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2019

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