Theater archives



Italian Troupes Offer Extreme Stagecraft and Bewilderment

Compagnia Virgilio Sieni Danza, part of the Tuscan Dance in Movement series, offered Empty Space Requiem, which, the fitfully intelligible program notes said, “revolves around and reflects upon the dimension of the void.” Was that the bare-naked stage? Or Marina Giovannini assaying brutal, flailed experiments and restless costume changes? Or perhaps a later trio—a Three Stooges chorus line with Sieni as Moe—finally upstaged by a recording of kids warbling “Space Oddity”? Sieni says he developed it while Bush was bombing Iraq, which could explain why it looked bold but senseless. Ensemble di Micha van Hoecke’s Maria Callas—La Voix des Choses was a seamless tour de force in homage to an incomparable voice. Its stagecraft embraced visual and emotional extremes, passionate flights grounded by the dancers’ luscious lyricism, agility, and maturity.

Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass, Startling Newcomers

Adam Adams’s OneArmRed space in DUMBO recently showcased emerging choreographers, including three soloists with uncommon backgrounds. In Dance of the Official Mistress, Sarah Edgar drew upon her stylistic expertise in baroque court dance with a creepy twist. Her coquettish ways polished to perfection, Edgar slammed into the floor, recoiling from her invisible master, and kept getting up for more. Acrobat-dancer Zoe Klein (Desire Is Illegal) displayed confident handling of space and gesture, needing only to boost her vocal power and perhaps edit some of her text. The clown Nick Jumara took such juicy pleasure in his imaginary scenarios—herding a glut of plastic grocery bags and cozying up to a “buxom” dance partner who, to our eyes, looked like an ordinary broom—that one wanted to pelt the stage with all sorts of items. Not to hit him, but to find out what he’d do next.