Rimasto Orfano, Emio Greco/PC
Wexner Center for the Arts / April 5, 2005
Photo by Jean Pierre Stoop

Emio Greco/PC
Thurber Theatre at Drake Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
April 5, 2005
Reviewed by Steve Sucato

 

“Emio Greco is dead,” proclaimed a dancer at the beginning of Rimasto Orfano (Abandoned Orphan). Nothing could have been further from the truth. What seemed dead by the end of the performance, however, was the notion that there is nothing new in dance. Italian choreographer Greco and Dutch theater director Pieter C. Scholten have created a dance experience of such creative brilliance and overwhelming emotion that even the most jaded critic could not help but be moved.

Continuing a movement aesthetic begun in Conjunto di NERO, this fascinating, disturbing journey of a work evoked images of watching patients (orphaned or not) in a mental institution, at times even peering into their minds. A bare stage framed by crumpled white silk drops and a single suspended white light bulb provided the backdrop to a mesmerizing display of nervous ticks, insecure glances, and simple movements like the waving of a dancer’s arm in the air, amplified in intensity a hundred fold.

Equally intense was the original score by American composer Michael Gordon and a sound collage of random noises and sirens by Wim Selles. The company’s half-dozen dancers, costumed in loose-fitting, monklike gowns of the same fabric as the drops, moved in emotional concert to the soundscape. On a stage often split into halves of shadow and light, the dancers sidled up to one another, anxiety and a need for conformity provoking them to mimic each other’s every step and body position. Slow-paced, synchronous movement tinkering led to fits of fast-paced unison group dancing in a flowing modern dance style that pressed the performers to exhaustion.

Dubbed “Extremealism” by Francois Le Pillouer, director of the Théâtre National de Bretagne, Greco and Scholten’s choreographic style for Rimasto Orfano tested the boundaries of minimalism and dancer commitment to the movement mentally, physically, and theatrically. None proved more up to the test than Greco, whose fervent dancing, maniacal silent screams, and violent head shaking and bashing onto the stage floor pierced the soul. Whether a conceptual representation of abandonment of mind, body, or both, Rimasto Orfano is a masterpiece.

For more information: www.emiogrecopc.nl

Latest Posts


Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS

Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
contest
Enter Our Video Contest