Fun. Disturbing. Gorgeous. Hideous. In I Am the Moon and You Are the Man on Me, directed by Katherine Valentine, the versatile Julie Atlas Muz traffics in glamour, buffoonery, eroticism, and horror, all impaled on a nail hammered into the door of imperial patriarchy. Best known for avant-garde burlesque, Muz, both seductress and satirist, is out for blood. To strains of Debussy, the slight, delicate-looking blonde portrays the waxing moon—encased in a transparent balloon, her nude flesh flecked with glitter, her arms slowly curving in graceful innocence and serenity. But Earth has designs on her. She’s visited by men, wave upon wave crawling toward her ankles, each dragged away by equally lustful competitors. These guys become romantic suitors and courtiers; shambling, murderous cavemen; a mucho macho jazz dance chorus; porn scene partners; gang rapists; and moonwalking astronauts—all with the goal of claiming and consuming a moon who can rumble with the best of them. Muz’s skillful transformations of self, and the anything-goes dramatic ingenuity of her cast, make this work a highlight of the fall dance season. Muz is more than the moon. She’s a star.

Archive Highlights