Kill Mama


Eifman Ballet of St Petersburg
City Center
Through April 19

Ballet Tech
Joyce Theater
Through April 23

In Memoriam. Anna Sokolow's size—she was small—in no way matched her fierceness. She was one of the powerful women in Martha Graham's company of the 1930s and during the Depression made works wrenched from the social conscience she developed as the child of immigrants, growing up poor on New York's Lower East Side. In dances—like the great 1955 Rooms—that she created for her company and others, she articulated in passionate abstractions themes of urban isolation and despair. Even reaching for one another, dancers averted their heads or arched their bodies, as if fulfillment were imperiled from the start. Lyricism bloomed like a plant pushing its way up through cracks in the pavement. She was tough-minded as a composition teacher too. No student could get away with decorativeness or the unpondered gesture. Movement had to come from the gut. Audiences didn't leave her concerts smiling; they left stirred, altered, shaken awake.

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