Ivy Baldwin, DD Dorvillier, and Alain Buffard Explore the Art World, Technology, and the Exposed Body

Peggy Guggenheim, strange eroticism, and a little Goethe for you

Even when the men become visible, running about in the wings, they tangle in the black curtains and spin themselves into anonymous bundles. And then, while Frédéric Marolleau’s sound design offers such quiet intrusions as the sound of a pen scratching on paper or birds chirping, we see the performers in their entirety. But, although they may pull their jeans and underwear down or entirely off, they’re still hiding; anonymous, gleaming, translucent masks cover most of their faces and make them look both ghostly and unhealthy.

It doesn’t take much for contact among them to turn punitive. One minute, Buffard is crawling and rocking with Doze beneath him, hanging on like a baby animal. The next minute they’re wrestling furiously, messily, while Ives watches excitedly. Then Doze is attacked by both men; they wrench his pants off, blindfold him, and torment him while he gropes. The end of his blindfold becomes a leash, and, restrained by Ives, he charges Buffard like an attack dog.

The interplay among shadows and between shadows and live performers is horribly spooky, since placement within the white box can render some figures enormous. An immense rump slowly sits on someone’s small head. A big profile descends to devour a supine little person. A shadow man appears to crouch beside a performer in front of the screen and stroke a hand down his side. At one point, Buffard’s own image is projected onto him, and it and his own shadow form a sandwich of him; he falls and is yanked under the cloth and into the box. These brutal, phantasmagorical images of victim and oppressor, as well as the intermittent disrobing and the full or partial disappearances of the men, culminate in the unexpected image of a hanging. That’s when we hear the voice of Georgette Dee, a man performing as a woman, finally singing a transformed bit of Schubert’s lied.

Ivy Baldwin and Lawrence Casella in Baldwin’s Here Rests Peggy (Eleanor Smith in background)
Yi-Chun Wu
Ivy Baldwin and Lawrence Casella in Baldwin’s Here Rests Peggy (Eleanor Smith in background)
Alain Buffard’s Les inconsolés
Yi-Chun Wu
Alain Buffard’s Les inconsolés

Details

Ivy Baldwin Dance
The Chocolate Factory
5-49 49th Avenue, Long Island City
718-482-7069
chocolatefactorytheater.org
October 20 through 30
DD Dorvillier/human future dance corps
Danspace at Saint Marks Church
October 21 through 23
Alain Buffard
Dance Theater Workshop
October 21 through 23

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This is the kind of dance that gives you nightmares, but while it’s happening, you daren’t look away.

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