Kyle Abraham's Dearest Home, photo by Carrie Schneider
While waiting for its massive facility in Catskill, New York to be completed, the Lumberyard (formerly American Dance Institute) brings its distinctive taste to The Kitchen in New York City. This week Lumberyard in the City continues its series of premieres by iconoclastic dance and performance artists with Raja Feather Kelly and concludes next week with Kyle Abraham.
David Gordon's Live Archiveography, photo by Paula Court
The series kicked off with David Gordon in a live version of Archiveography, in which his reminiscences—played out in dance, film and talking—are scintillating, witty and moving. Live Archiveography gave riddle-like hints of Gordon's ingenious overlapping of image, story and dancing in his prolific career as choreographer and playwright.
Vicky Shick's Let It Linger invited us into a quietly mesmerizing world of four women in an almost empty space. Their relationships ranged from a curious indifference to a tender nurturing to a sharp rebuff. With a haiku-like spareness, the vivid qualities of Marilyn Maywald-Yahel, Anna Azrieli, Lily Gold and Mina Nishimura unfolded in dreamlike vignettes. (Full disclosure: I've danced with Vicky at American Dance Institute.)
Mina Nishimura and Marilyn Maywald-Yahel in Let It Linger, photo by Paula Court
For a change of pace, Raja Feather Kelly's Another Fucking Warhol ProductionorWho's Afraid of Andy Warhol will mess with your mind. Recently Kelly's been excelling at gender-bending, race-flipping chanteuse acts. Back in the day we would have called it camp, but he is calling it "docufiction." (Sounds like a variation on "fake news" to me.)
Kyle Abraham's Dearest Home is based on the concept of empathy. This will come as no surprise for those who saw his last work for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Untitled America. For that piece, the sound score was a set of interviews that revealed the destructive effects of incarceration on families. Abraham has always brought his social consciousness to his mercurial choreography. In this "Choreography in Focus," he talks about his signature work, the powerful Pavement, which focuses on the neighborhood where he grew up in Pittsburgh. Images of police brutality thread through the piece. I think we'll all be ready for a little empathy, as envisioned by Kyle Abraham, June 28—July 2.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.