On the Waterfront, a Movement Choir and the City’s Ordinary Wonders


Not quite trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, little Stuyvesant Cove Park—hangout of neighborhood birders and bass fishermen—quietly winds between the FDR Drive and the East River. Recently, 20 dancers and “multigenerational movers” braved a chilly, gusty breeze and lowering sky to perform Our Bodies: Our Planet, presented by the park’s Community Environmental Center. Nancy Allison’s movement choir made up in democratic people power what was lacking in solar power. Their work, built on skips, jumps, and other easy actions that—aside from making this tiny respite temporarily crowded and noisy—clearly suggested a day in the life of the park. With the Con Ed stacks a distant backdrop, performers drifted, interacted, bunched up, and dispersed. Small groups split away, running, rolling, scooting around as if riding bikes, or just being trees. “Joggers” circumnavigated the territory, nearly indistinguishable from the real joggers. Mourning doves flew and a seaplane landed on the river in scene-stealing improvisation.