It doesn’t feel right to call Plexus either a dance or a spectacle.
When the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater (then the BAM Majestic Theater) opened in 1987, lauded director Peter Brook staged his production of Jean-Claude Carrière’s Le Mahabharata, itself based on the gargantuan Indian epic.
The British sculptor and installation artist Anthony McCall’s sculptural parallax of thirty-six, 300-watt incandescent bulbs is a site-specific installation for BAM’s new 250-seat Fisher building, made in conjunction with Jonah Bokaer, the thirty-something dance whiz kid. Bokaer was the youngest member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and founder of Chez Bushwick, and his relation to McCall tiptoes around the famed collaborations between Isamu Noguchi and the Martha Graham Company, or Cunningham and Andy Warhol’s helium filled silver pillows. Those collaborations pivoted sculptural sets as integral parts of the choreography.
The alien remoteness of Antarctica has probably never been better depicted on stage than in 69°S., a marionette theatre experience presented at the BAM 2011 Next Wave Festival by performance ensemble Phantom Limb. I write “experience” because I’m not really sure what else to call this.