New York Notebook

September 21, 2010



Empty Words, Full Dancing

Known for his lavish, sexually edgy works like Le Parc, Le Sacre du Printemps, and L’Annonciation, Angelin Preljocaj brings a surprising “pure dance” piece to BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Empty moves (parts I and II) is a tribute to the Cage­–Cunningham aesthetic, both in its use of Cage’s Empty Words and in its apparent disconnect between sound and motion. The soundtrack is taken from a 1977 performance in which Cage reads Henry David Thoreau’s words to an increasingly hostile audience. The late composer’s bemused voice holds down the fort, as four dancers launch into bracing movement and fascinating groupings. Oct. 27–30. See —Wendy Perron



Going Nowhere & Everywhere

Ralph Lemon’s New York premiere, How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?, explores in three parts the idea of absence at BAM, Oct. 13–16. First, on film, is a look into Lemon’s work with Walter Carter, a 102-year-old former sharecropper, set against Lemon’s live retrospective of works since 2004. Second is the fierce ensemble—Djédjé Djédjé Gervais, Darrell Jones, Gesel Mason, Okwui Okpokwasili, and David Thomson—together again after a long hiatus. Third, Lemon and Okpokwasili revisit an introspective duet begun earlier, titled No Room. (A fourth, Meditation, a video installation, will be shown at The Kitchen Oct. 17.) See —Charmaine Patricia Warren


Pite & Dark

In Dark Matters, choreographer Crystal Pite spins a weird web of theatrics using the mysteries of creation and destruction as her point of departure. We see a man construct a puppet that becomes aggressive to its maker. The puppet masters (dancers of her Vancouver-based company, Kidd Pivot) are the focus for the dance-heavy second half of the show. Here, the dark matter (and its scientific origin) is represented by the gravita­tional pull of the bodies, with exploding limbs and leaps. “The tension between instinct and intellect is really motivating,” says Pite. Want to see her dancers explore that interplay in Dark Matters? Hop on a train at Penn Station for a short trip to Peak Performances@Montclair, NJ. Oct. 21–24. —Emily Macel



Photo of
Empty moves with Sergio Diaz, Celine Marie, Yan Giraldou, and Isabelle Arnaud by JC Carbonne, Courtesy BAM.