No to turning crying into laughing; no to ending the piece with an amazing unforgettable flourish; no to starting with wonderful, appealing dancing; no to choosing a famous collaborator in music or visuals; no to dancers forming shapes and patterns that keep your eye involved.
Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? at BAM reminded me of the stubbornness of Yvonne Rainer’s No Manifesto of the 1960s. I loved her defiance then (though she has downplayed her statement of that time), and I love his stubbornness—or rather patience, now. A few people walked out of the performance at BAM because it wasn’t what they expected.
Yes, he did go fully into sorrow. (When Okwui Okpokwasili cried with her back to us, it was so real—and don’t we all have a river to cry?) Yes, his dancers were totally chaotic and alarmingly desperate, yet with a silver lining of humor. (David Thomson took my eye because he released so far off balance that he looked like he’d lose his head. They were all wild animals craving some unknown something.)
Yes to the animal comfort of pulling toward each other, flesh to flesh, in an incidental way. Yes to layering of sources (e.g. Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 sci-fi romance film Solaris; videos of Walter Carter, Lemon’s 100-year old muse shuffling around with his wife during his last days; and Ralph’s own account with his dying girlfriend.) Yes to understanding the devotion of love in different contexts.
No to making a “show.” Yes to making the contemplation on love and loss visible.
Ralph Lemon, Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy BAM
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap.Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do.But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."