Jewel Boxes

Brown herself appears in her 1978 Locus and her 1994 If You Couldn't See Me, reminding us where that wit, that uncanny flow, that gorgeousness come from.


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Details

New York City Ballet
New York State Theater
Through June 25

Trisha Brown Dance Company
Joyce Theater
Through May 14

SeŠn Curran
Danspace St. Marks
Through May 14

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Seán Curran Company
(images: Lois Greenfield)


E.B. White might have been startled to hear his debonair words on the loneliness and privacy and strangeness of New York spoken by a dancing-singing-talking tornado called Seán Curran amid a crowd of dressed-up department-store child mannequins. But Curran is brilliant in this new solo, Approaching a City—garnishing the J. Pointer song "Shakey Flat Blues" with rueful comedy and canoodling eerily with the mannequins. When he lays one little girl down while telling her, "You have been missing for most of your life," and lies beside her, he can break your heart. And you've barely finished laughing.

Curran's scruffy, fighting-cock vigor and fast feet—bred in ballet studios and Irish step-dancing competitions—are idiosyncratic. Every gesture is clean, even a cannily modulated swoon. Yet he has become an accomplished group choreographer, transferring his precision without his quirks. Symbolic Logic, a beautiful, austere Asian-influenced ritual, is completely different from The Nothing That Is Not There and the Nothing That Is, to piano music by Leos Janácek, which explores subtle dramatic tensions among four people (Marisa Demos, Tony Guglietti, Peter Kalivas, and Heather Waldon-Arnold). And Six Laments suggests the potency of memory through evocative dancing and Kieran McGonnell's portraits of three ages of man. Painted on venetian blinds, the faces disappear when the blinds open and Philip W. Sandström's lighting awakens the visions behind them.

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