New York Notebook

March 17, 2010





Take Me Disappearing

Trisha Brown likes to watch things disappear. Her liquid movement can evaporate into thin air. In Opal Loop/Cloud Installation #72503, from 1980, her galloping, rocking and shaking fade into the clouds. Not clouds high up over the earth, but a cloud formed right in the theater by Japanese sculptor Fujiko Nakaya. This is way more elegant than a fog machine because you are watching vapor form and reform, conceal and reveal the four dancers. Opal Loop, which has not been performed since 1996, is part of the Trisha Brown Dance Company’s 40th anniversary at Baryshnikov Arts Center, April 7–11. See or —Wendy Perron



Keeping It Fresh

Leaving the classics at home, Richmond Ballet brings six new-to-New Yorkers works to the Joyce this month. The company will showcase the fluid versatility of its dancers in works by Jessica Lang, Val Caniparoli, William Soleau, Colin Connor, Mauricio Wainrot, and Stoner Winslett—who is celebrating her 30th year as artistic director. Highlights include Lang’s emotionally resonant, architecturally rich To Familiar Spaces in Dream and Connor’s seemingly prophetic Vestiges, exploring the aftermath of destruction—though it was created a year before 9/11. April 6–11. —Lea Marshall



Sokolow, the “It” Girl

In the early 1930s, Anna Sokolow was the wild one in Martha Graham’s company. Dorothy Bird writes in her memoir, Bird’s Eye View: Dancing with Martha Graham and on Broadway, of her fascination with the savvy dancer in a tight black skirt and ripped stockings who assisted Louis Horst in his composition classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Sokolow was so agile that Graham described her as “a little mountain goat.” Bird called her “cool, tough, and independent.” Of course, Sokolow went on to become a pioneer in the field of dance theater, remembered for her masterpiece Rooms and her breakthrough Opus 65 for the Joffrey. The Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble celebrates her centennial this year, which includes a season at Joyce SoHo April 22–25. See —W.P.



Photo of Trisha Brown (right) in
Opal Loop in 1980. Photo by Babette Mangolte, courtesy TBKC.