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Posted inPerformance

Instrumental People

When DD Dorvillier introduced an excerpt from her Danza Permanente at Judson Church last year, explaining that each of her four dancers would mirror one instrument in a Beethoven string quartet, a dance historian might have been puzzled. On the timeline of American concert dance, this sounded rather familiar: Didn’t the modern dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn do something similar about 100 years ago, when they developed a choreographic approach known as “music visualizations”? Hasn’t Mark Morris, famous for his musically complex choreography, been physicalizing classical scores since the 1980s? Oh, and then there’s Balanchine…

Posted inPerformance

Happily Tangled Webs

On my way to the Joyce SoHo last Wednesday, while thinking about David Gordon’s 50th anniversary — and realizing that, while he has been making work for five decades, I would be seeing it live for the first time that night — I got to wondering: What does Gordon, renowned for resisting any sort of tidy classification, think about these tidy little landmarks called anniversaries?

Posted inPerformance

Ashes to Ashes, Words to Dance

The program for Rashaun Mitchell’s Nox contains a lone explanatory note: “When my brother died I made an epitaph for him in the form of a book. This is a replica of it, as close as we could get.” The words belong to the poet Anne Carson, and they come from the back cover of her eponymous book, published in 2010. They make you wonder: Is what we’re about to see a replica of that book, in the form of a dance, as close as the artists could get? A replica of a replica?