Dancing on the Rail: Aprils Lesson in Dance History
Titans of American modern dance rain down over the city this April. Martha Graham, Mark Morris, and Trisha Brown together offer a veritable trip through the pages of dance history. Martha Graham Dance Company begins a second season, released from the shadow of Ron Protas and the copyright battles swirling around the ownership of Graham’s works (April 6–April 17, City Center). Trisha Brown, postmodern dance’s reigning heroine, celebrates 35 years of creating works with major visual artists of the 20th century, namely Robert Rauschenberg. The Lincoln Center spring season includes a tribute to Brown’s work with Rauschenberg in a program that includes Glacial Decoy, Astral Convertible, and Set and Reset. All three are groundbreaking works on which the two collaborated. Also part of the anniversary performances are two New York premieres: Present Tense and how long does the subject linger on the edge of the volume… , which draws on the increasingly popular motion-capture technology (April 13–16, Lincoln Center Rose Theater). Mark Morris’s insouciance once got him labeled the enfant terrible of the dance world. His company returns to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for a program of old and new works, among them Somebody’s Coming to See Me Tonight (1995), set to songs by Stephen Foster, and the New York premiere of Rock of Ages (2004), set to Schubert. April 19, 21–23 at 7:30 p.m., BAM.
To see dance history in the making, or at least work that points toward the new directions modern and postmodern dance has taken since Martha, Trisha, and Mark, it’s worthwhile to check out David Neumann, Neil Greenberg, and Osmani Tellez and Juliette Mapp in the smaller dance venues of New York.
Shares: Osmani Tellez and Juliette Mapp, April 8–10
Choreographers Osmani Tellez and Juliette Mapp share an evening of performance in the aptly titled Danspace Project program Shares. Tellez’s Out draws on poetry and sound to invoke the complexities and powers of the human mind, but it is Mapp’s One (be wary of the similar titles) that sounds more compelling. An anti–Iraq war dance statement, One is a solo dance set on several dancers. I imagine this means the movement is universal, just as the effects of war and violence.
April 8–10, 8:30 p.m., Danspace Project, 131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue). Tickets: $15, 212-674-8194, www.danspaceproject.org
David Neumann/advanced beginner group, April 14–17
In a collaborative new work that combines Neumann’s infectious dancing and performer’s presence with playwright Will Eno’s text and images by Hal Hartley, tough the tough is a work that focuses on those not so easily inclined to movement, or dance for that matter. Neumann calls this "reluctant" dancing, and his brand of witty club-dance-inspired choreography is as eclectic as Will Eno’s text.
April 14–17, Thurs.–Sat., 8:30 p.m., Sun. 7:30 p.m. Danspace Project, 131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue). Tickets: $15, 212-674-8194, www.danspaceproject.org; www.advancedbeginnergroup.org
Dance by Neil Greenberg, Partial View, April 6–9, 13–16
In Partial View Greenberg suffuses movement with video projections by John Jesurun. Performed to a live score by Zeena Parkins, Partial View challenges viewers’ ideas of how they build meaning out of dance and life. Also on the program is Construction With Varied Materials, also pushing the boundaries of how we view dance.
April 6–9, 13–16, 7:30 p.m. Dance Theater Workshop, 219 West 19th Street. Tickets: $25, (212) 924-0077; www.dtw.org, www.neilgreenberg.org.
VANESSA MANKO was the former Dance Editor for the Brooklyn Rail.
Asian American Art is a MonumentBy Related Tactics
JUL-AUG 2022 | Critics Page
n our collective, Related Tactics (Michele Carlson, Weston Teruya, and Nathan Watson), we think a lot about the ways power is created through systems of knowledgesome of these systems are very loud and obvious while others are much more subtle, embodied, and insidious. Here we consider the space of Asian American art as a monument and offer a series of speculative interventions pulled from studio brainstorming done in the production of our 2022 project, Memories Breathe and Every Monument Deflates. This project considered themes such as collective memory, systems of knowledge, and monuments within the American landscape. With this list we ask, how might this strategic repositioning offer tools to reimagine our intersecting communities collaborative movements towards liberation?
from City of BlowsBy Tim Blake Nelson
FEB 2023 | Fiction
Those familiar with Tim Blake Nelson's work in Coen brothers films, the Watchmen series, or last year's Old Henry, will immediately understand that this novel's depictions of Hollywood machinations are of a higher caliber than those in any other literary work that's attempted to depict that world. City of Blows abounds in the economy and fluidity that accompanies true authorityseen in this description of a producer: “One of the biggest pricks in LA. But he gets his movies made. Directors rarely work for him twice.” What's less expected is Nelson’s investigation of the relationship between insecurity and toxicity, seen in Weinstein-esque predators but also applicable to masculinity at large. The psychological motivations and character examinations develop City of Blows from a roman à clef to a work far more universal.
Erika Doss’s Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and ReligionBy Daniel Kraft
MARCH 2023 | Art Books
Through case studies investigating the role of religion in the lives and works of four 20th century American artistsJoseph Cornell, Mark Tobey, Agnes Pelton, and Andy Warholand through a short closing chapter discussing Christian imagery in more recent art, Doss demonstrates how reductive this dismissal of spirituality really is.
Called to the Camera: Black American Studio PhotographersBy Zoe Ariyama
DEC 22–JAN 23 | ArtSeen
A glowing newlywed couple, a graduate in her cap and gown, two portraits of one young boy smiling widea small dog sits on his lap in the first, he wears a cowboy costume in the other: records of major life events, taken also for pleasure. Called to the Camera: Black American Studio Photographers brings together nearly 250 unique photographs, pulled from archives and personal collections alike, to trace the histories of images taken by and for Black sitters from the nineteenth century to present.