I spent part of the third section of Shen Wei’s modern dance showing at the Park Avenue Armory on Tuesday watching a shoeless young woman (a member of the audience who was, like me, allowed to wander along the grid of 60 dancer-inhabited squares of performance space), stare slack-jawed and wide-eyed at the topless performers smeared with paint leaping and spinning and writhing before her. Her proximity to them was probably jarring enough, but add to that experience the intimidating vastness of the Armory’s coliseum-sized hangar with booming surround sound and a reverberating floor, and its easy to see why someone might drop all pretense of understanding and question what’s expected of them.
Minutes before the much-admired postmodern choreographer Trisha Brown was to stage her early 1973 “Roof Piece” on Thursday, June 9, the High Line’s urban park rangers and the stage managers of Trisha Brown’s Dance Company began to panic. An upstaging performance by a potentially show-stopping tornado struck fear upon headsets and walkie-talkies alike. Would the show go on?
Last night, In the Use of Others for the Change premiered at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn. Choreographed by Julia K. Gleich, the new ballet featured collaborations with some familiar faces on the Bushwick art scene, including Audra Wolowiec, Austin Thomas, Kevin Regan and Andrew Hurst. I spoke to Gleich today about the show, its challenges, its surprises and the differences between New York and London when it comes to contemporary ballet.