New York Notebook

June 30, 2009

Transcendent @Bard

When Lucinda Childs’ Dance premiered at BAM in 1979, it divided audiences: A small faction threw tomatoes while others cheered. Today it’s considered a seminal work, an ultimate collaboration among the minimalist artists Philip Glass (music), Sol LeWitt (film/décor), and Childs. In the stripped-down choreography, dancers synchronize with their ghosted projections, sometimes dwarfed, other times paralleled or doubled by the images. The repeating patterns of dance, music, and image ultimately lead toward a state of transcendence. Dance will have a rare remounting this summer at Bard SummerScape, followed by performances in the fall at Williams College, the University of Florida at Gainesville, and the Joyce Theater. See —Cynthia Hedstrom



Good ’n’ Evil

Guardian of archetypes Wendy Jehlen is well-loved in Boston, where she founded Anikai Dance in 1996. At last her company makes its New York debut at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in He Who Burns, an epic that subverts traditional views on the divine and the satanic. A skilled abstractionist who still likes to tell a story in her choreography, Jehlen integrates classical South Indian techniques with Butoh, Capoeira, West African dance, and a brilliant array of contemporary movement strategies. The protagonist this time around? None other than Iblis, one of the two names for the devil in the Koran, the primary text of Islam. With text in Urdu, English, and Korean; July 10–12. See —Theodore Bale



on an ISLAND in the SUN

Each summer for the past 15 years, Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA) hosts a festival on Fire Island to raise money to support those living with HIV/AIDS. Dancers and dance watchers take the ferry for a fun-in-the-sun afternoon or evening. Slated for this year’s festival, July 18–19, are Complexions, Keigwin+Company, Jacoby & Pronk, and lots more. If you can’t get out there, check out Rosalie O’Connor’s glorious photos of the past five years’ worth of Fire Island Dance Festival. See —Emily Macel




Photo: (top to bottom) ©1979 Nathaniel Tileston, Courtesy Bard; PV Jayan, Courtesy Anikai Dance; Clifford Christopher Williams, Courtesy DRA