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  • Article


    James Kudelka isn't the most scintillating conversationalist, but his dances are never dull. Cruel World, a flurry of duets made for American Ballet Theatre in 1994, divided viewers, who saw either the paragon of partnering or the musings of a misant...

    by Christopher Reardon on October 6, 1998
  • Article


    In The Weatherbox, a peculiarly likable though rough-around-the-edges meditation on the American family from Rattlestick, playwright Travis Baker hits so many uncomfortably true-to-life notes that his play frequently makes you feel like you forgot to...

    by James Oseland on October 6, 1998
  • Article

    Showing Soul

    When the members of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company hit the stage in excerpts from Talley Beatty's 1960 Come and Get the Beauty of It Hot and Donald Byrd's 1991 Dark Joy, they're 60 percent eye-grabbing technique and 40 percent attitude. Beatty pio...

    by Deborah Jowitt on October 6, 1998
  • Culture Shakes


    Culture Shakes

    Spiritually as well as geographically on opposite sides of the same street, Ping Chong's Kwaidan and Anne Bogart's Culture of Desire seem to reach out and almost touch. Visually striking works by known Downtown artists, both are at heart simple, trad...

    by Michael Feingold on September 29, 1998
  • Field of Screams


    Field of Screams

    At 29, Edwidge Danticat is, as the expression goes, in like a bullet. Her first two books, a story collection (Krik? Krak!) and a novel (Breath, Eyes, Memory), have earned her both literary and popular acclaim. Citations have come from sources as div...

    by Dale Peck on September 29, 1998
  • Beyond Human


    Beyond Human

    Horses have a long history as dancers. A Renaissance prince with gold in his coffers and a major celebration looming could always commission a horse ballet. Its mass patterns transformed the tournament into art, further ritualizing the maneuvers of w...

    by Deborah Jowitt on September 29, 1998
  • Eastern Exposure - Curator Gao Minglu Brings the Chinese Avant-Garde West


    Eastern Exposure - Curator Gao Minglu Brings the Chinese Avant-Garde West

    Globalization is the buzzword of the art biz in the 1990s. Istanbul and Sydney, Kwangju and Hong Kong, have become must-see stopovers for cell phonetoting curators and jet-setting dealers who would not be caught dead in Williamsburg in the name of m...

    by Barbara Pollack on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    In the Black

    When host Doug Elkins walked up the Joyce aisle in a tuxedo, bearing flowers for his consort (the fabulously endowed gender bender Varla Jean Merman), we knew the New York Dance and Performance Awards--founded in 1983, and familiarly known as the Bes...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Drag King

    Richard III lurks amid the stage's rough-hewn boards, makeshift throne, and frolicsome courtiers. With a wry smile, she (yes, she) slips into her opening monologue. Surveying her shape, which she terms, "cheated of feature by dissembling nature," the...

    by Alexis Soloski on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Youssef Chahine

    In Youssef Chahine's autobiographical Alexandria, Why? (1978), set during World War II, the young protagonist could not care less about the threat of Rommel's army closing in on his port city. Yehia's a Hollywood musical freak; his dreams are of goin...

    by Elliott Stein on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Indian Corn

    The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Provincetown Playhouse, September 25 through 27) brings to an Iroquois creation legend the naive charm and visual imagination that are the hallmarks of master puppeteer and mask-maker Ralph Lee, designer and director ...

    by Francine Russo on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Drawing Room

    Stay-at-home artists, introverted, obsessive, and a bit batty, are stepping into the limelight, with work that harkens back to a handmade era and looks forward to an increasingly digitized world. John Morris appears to be one of their number. This s...

    by Leslie Camhi on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Black Market Babies

    No one wants you if your memories dominate your every activity. No one wants a rememberer," Claire Phillips muses in her first book, Black Market Babies, as though she were ashamed at the very condition of being a writer. Where does the novel's urgen...

    by Joy Katz on September 29, 1998
  • The Mud Club


    The Mud Club

    Samuel Beckett left no descendants. The steady diminuendo of his dramaturgical style from Waiting for Godot to the seven pages that make up What Where provides little in the way of future direction for his followers. Nowhere else to go, it seems, but...

    by Charles McNulty on September 29, 1998
  • East Side Story


    East Side Story

    It's not about knishes, chow fun, cuchifritos, or cannoli. There's no paean to pushcarts, no elegy to Ellis Island. Indeed, The Secret History of the Lower East Side steers clear of those simple, sentimental signifiers of scrappy immigrants hell-bent...

    by Alisa Solomon on September 29, 1998
  • Purple Nipple


    Purple Nipple

    Lisa Yuskavage is an extravagantly deft painter in oils of cartoonish, often anatomically impossible bimbos, nymphets, and other female travesties with hypercharged libidos and the self-esteem of cat litter. Most are young, but even the more adult on...

    by Peter Schjeldahl on September 29, 1998
  • Article

    Puppet States

    Puppets: The word summons up joy, animation, and magic when it means us watching them, humiliation and confinement when it means someone else watching us. We'd all like to be as enchantingly free as the wood and canvas creatures onstage apparently ar...

    by Michael Feingold on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    Cooking in Chelsea - At the Kitchen, a New-Style Chef

    At a little before 10 a.m., Elise Bernhardt, executive director of the Kitchen Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film, and Literature, is trying to unlock the building. Fitting key after key into a daunting array of locks, she grins at the...

    by Deborah Jowitt on September 22, 1998
  • Article

    Another Bow - Some Simple Clues for Not Quitting the TheaterMaybe

    I got so much mail about "Bowing Out" (Voice, August 4) that I thought I'd better expand on it. Nothing's scarier, for a critic, than the realization that people might actually agree with him, and most of my correspondents did: Like me, they see our ...

    by Michael Feingold on September 15, 1998
  • Article

    A Deep Brecht - Can Poor B.B. Still Affect Our Alien Nation?

    He was born 100 years ago (February 10, 1898), and in the U.S. the celebrations have been minimal: If the Drama League hadn't elected to fund seven Brecht productions by young directors for this year's Fringe Festival, New York would have taken virtu...

    by Michael Feingold on September 8, 1998
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Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1 Five Decades of James Lee Byars's "Perf" on Display at MoMA PS1

James Lee Byars was an artist possessed of certain elegance. He dressed impeccably in silk or linen suits, velvet or gold lamé, often custom-made by a tailor who called himself… More >>

And I and Silence Strikes a Too-Familiar Chord

In a month when American race relations appear to have reached a historic low, the subject matter of Naomi Wallace's And I and Silence — an interracial love story with… More >>

War Animals: Nancy Rubins Goes Once More Into the Playground

You can hardly pass a toy store these days without thinking of Jeff Koons. Mr. Porcelain Smile has so deeply incorporated children's playthings into his massive Whitney survey — those… More >>

Poor Behavior is a Moral Lecture Delivered by Terrible People

"Peter is one of my oldest friends," says Maureen (Heidi Armbruster). Her hand clasps her collar to underline her moral certainty, but we're not at all convinced. Just a moment… More >>

<I>Useless</i> Is Hardley Naive About Human Trafficking Useless Is Hardley Naive About Human Trafficking

Pigs shriek. We hear the squealing herds of swine as they face the knife — part of a massive culling to control the spread of a virus. These earsplitting, nerve-jangling… More >>

Art for Film's Sake: Celluloid Characters, Real Paintings

In 1992, I owed a favor to a production designer in the film industry, and he asked me to create a series of paintings for the character of a penniless… More >>

The Maids Brings Downtown Theater to the Lincoln Center Festival

It seems fitting that any production of The Maids — the play that launched what came to be known as Theater of the Absurd — should be somewhat absurd itself.… More >>

Phoenix Is a Brittle Romantic Comedy Revived by the Rattlestick

When is a one-night stand not a one-night stand? When it leads to the abortion clinic. That is, according to Scott Organ's Phoenix, a brittle romantic comedy revived by the… More >>