Marriage and War

Lar Lubovitch understands profoundly the irreducible essence of dance: bodies propelled through designs in space and time. His recent, too brief City Center season revealed a few of his many facets. The new My Funny Valentine, a tribute to composer Richard Rodgers, exposes his skill with the ballet genre in a duet for guest artists Sandra Brown and Marcelo Gomes; one can easily imagine their lyrical flight transposed for ice-skaters, another population this artist serves. Lubovitch's The Wedding, a reimagined 1976 version of Stravinsky's much choreographed Les Noces, is newly set against Soviet realist posters of Lenin, sheaves of wheat, and a windblown young couple facing the revolutionary future. More than generic members of a peasant wedding party, the gray-clad dancers are costumed as workers: a military officer, various aproned craftsmen. Nancy Bannon and Jason McDole shine as bride and groom, but though this vision provides food for thought, what I feel is primarily gratitude that the Soviet empire has fallen and nostalgia for older, sentiment-soaked renditions of the work. Last year's Men's Stories survives the transition from its site-specific origins at the Orensanz Center to the proscenium stage; it's a tour de force of masculine modern dance.

Dana Salisbury's multidisciplinary Stone's War—made for Brooklyn's Old American Can Factory earlier this month—assembled much talent, not all terpsichorean and some quite brilliant, like Deke Weaver's portrayal of a crazed exterminator. Though probably "set" before the Trade Center was bombed and the war began, it had, especially in Weaver's creepy, arrogant monologue, eerie resonances with our current situation. Christopher Caines orchestrated a massive production number—with singers, dancers, supertitles, blood, and 500 years' worth of text and music—in his own living room. We encountered a magnified cat's asshole, fleas in various incarnations, and nods to the fiction of Gerald Vizenor.

 
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