“During the regime.” “After the regime.” I heard these expressions a lot during a 2004 gathering of critics from Eastern European countries that had been part of the Soviet Union. Since Russia touted ballet as art for the masses, a contemporary dance tradition often began only after liberation, or resumed after a long hiatus, although in some countries experimental theater never entirely vanished. Our sessions took place in Budapest during a small festival of new dance works, and I was struck by how many of the participating choreographers were testing how extreme emotions altered the body and how the body in all its states—ill, damaged, aroused, enraged, insensate— became a gestural tool for probing dark... More >>>