RENNIE MCDOUGALL is a writer from Melbourne, currently living in Brooklyn. More of his writing can be found at renniemcdougall.com
Fractured Dialogues: Juliana May’s Folk IncestBy Rennie McDougall
Juliana May’s performances negotiate the complexities of trauma. Within the choreographies themselves, however, May often decentralizes trauma and catharsis instead of overtly addressing them; aggression simmers underneath the dance, occasionally surfacing before giving way to the work’s other occupations.
Mette Ingvartsen’s 21 pornographiesBy Rennie McDougall
In 21 pornographies—Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen’s solo show at Performance Space New York—Ingvartsen played an army general who, after shitting on the floor
Poses at the House of MetropolitanBy Rennie McDougall
The Metropolitan Museums Battle of the Legends on June 11 showcased six of New Yorks best voguers vying for the winners title.
Another Song, Another FeelingBy Rennie McDougall
“You go for the obvious,” Charles Atlas told Performing Arts Journal in 1997, discussing his films that are populated with everything from Merce Cunningham’s choreography to Leigh Bowery’s drag.
Lauren Bakst’s More Problems with FormBy Rennie McDougall
I once watched Lauren Bakst get accosted by a fan. A woman, intensely moved by Baksts performance at St. Marks Church in 2015, grabbed Bakst by both shoulders and launched into a monologue of praise that went something like this: Oh my God, Lauren, you were so beautiful. SO beautiful! Not that youre not always beautiful; youre ALWAYS beautiful. But this time you were different; you were so in your body. Because sometimes I see you get in your head, you know? Because youre so intelligent. SO intelligent! And on and on.
Giving Voice to Collective MemoryBy Rennie McDougall
St. Marks Church on 10th Street first began programming artists almost one hundred years ago, when writers such as Edna St. Vincent Millay and Kahil Gibran echoed their words into the building. Before that, the churchs Episcopal congregation worshiped, prayed, and sang in the church as early as 1799, the year the parish hall was completed.
Dancing Paula Abdul in my Living RoomBy Rennie McDougall
Somehow Abdul, on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium in 1990, makes it look as if her dance couldn’t exist with any less space, but replicating (to the best of my ability) her dance in close quarters is a reminder of how dancers can expand the most confined of spaces. Abdul only needed a bathroom and half a mirror.
A Dancer's WorthBy Rennie McDougall
Since February, the Dance Artists National Collective (DANC) has been holding monthly meetings where a growing number of dancers and supporters are hoping to enact a nationwide movement.
Crossing the Line: Germaine Acogny's Somewhere at the BeginningBy Rennie McDougall
In Germaine Acognys performance Somewhere at the Beginningdirected by Mikaël Serre and presented at La MaMa theater as part of the Crossing the Line FestivalAcogny does strike her forehead and mark the ground and curl her wrists over her head, but it is her presence within these actions that bring her performance to life, something not easily translated into neat sentences.