Race, love, history, Kyle Abraham takes them all head-on in his latest work, The Watershed. I review it here, for DanceTabs.
A short excerpt: “How does a choreographer and man of ideas like Kyle Abraham, an artist who identifies himself as a “Black Gay American Man” (and recent Macarthur Fellow) begin to pull apart the layers of his experience while allowing himself the freedom to think, not just about issues, but about form?”
I saw Souleymane Badolo last night at New York Live Arts. He performed two solos, Barack and Buudou, Badoo, Badolo. Both addressed issues of past and present, and both were steeped in a thick sadness that was hard to throw off, even after the evening had ended. What has happened to this man that makes him so profoundly sad, I wondered as I let the theatre? At the same time, he is a remarkable dancer, who can make every muscle in his body dance, down to the tips of his fingers. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.
And a short excerpt: “It’s a strange image; this compact, muscular man, wearing skin-tight, bright red trousers and a yellow hoodie, open at the chest, bowing slowly at center stage, then stage right, stage left. His face, especially his eyes, express total desolation. Then Edith Piaf’s powerful, rasping voice rings out: “Rien de rien, je ne regrette rien.” I regret nothing. Badolo moves his arms, powerful and vulnerable at once, fluttering, undulating them almost like wings, fingers trembling.”
Here‘s my review of Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Bell,” a deconstruction of the Kabuki drama The Maiden at the Dojoji Temple through the lens of Giselle. I’ve been a big fan of Yokoshi’s previous experiments with the pared-down Kabuki style known as Su-odori, but this one just didn’t work. The bits from Dojoji and Giselle never cohered, nor did they inform each other in any meaningful way. The “balletic” elements were woefully inadequate. The Japanese elements, beautifully executed, were given little context. Here’s a short excerpt from DanceTabs:
“Both Kayo Seyama, an older female dancer who performs a lengthy, delicate solo (called Kane no Misaki) toward the end of Bell, and Kuniya Sawamura, a young male dancer/actor who may just be one of the finest character dicers I have seen, are fascinating to watch. The utter control of every millimeter of their bodies and face, the refinement of their movements, the total clarity of the placement of each limb and adjustment of weight within the body, are astounding. To this, Sawamura adds an extraordinarily expressive face that suggests flickers of wit, sadness, irony, fear, pleasure, even naughtiness.”