Theater archives

New Terrain


Terrain (the Kitchen, April) made its New York debut in “Uncharted Dances,” by Rebecca Lazier. As Vanish began, dancers tucked in the wings suddenly flung themselves out like confetti and tickertape. Lazier arranged these pliable, hyperactive bodies in attractive disorder. Order—unison movement—satisfied when it came and did not overstay its welcome. Falling Awake, followed by the overly dreamy Stone’s Throw, showed more of the choreographer’s intelligent, fine control of complex material. This, Lazier’s quirky solo and her only appearance, reveals her to be a sturdily built dancer—not slim, not sleek—with a sense of humor and few inhibitions. As for Nurses, featuring women in outrageously padded bras and panties beneath white uniforms, I couldn’t quite grasp Lazier’s intent and point of view. A satire on body image? On health care? Visually memorable and boisterous, it just didn’t add up. —Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Forget Disney’s Cinderella. Forget Nureyev’s. French choreographer Maguy Marin’s version, Cendrillon (New Jersey Performing Arts Center, April), is tinted with unrefined cruelty, a big dose of humor, and a lot of tenderness. Marin puts a child-doll into a world of masked, stuffed-bodied characters. When her father brings home a rag doll that Cinderella pretends is her mother, it unexpectedly gives birth to a chrysalis fairy robot with a wand that looks more like a sword from Star Wars. The robot fairy provides Cinderella with an electric-bulb dress, glitter pointe shoes, and a toy car to take to the ball. Supported by the delirious props of Monserrat Casanova, Marin’s often grotesque dancers, restricted in their attitudes by their costumes and their big papier-mâché faces, create a highly colorful and childlike, stylized dance in which movement becomes heavily symbolic. Freed by the masks, it springs to the eyes. —Sylvaine Sidorowicz