Yanira Castro has set Beacon in a derelict space cagily transformed by minimalist chic. She distributes her audience among four tiny red-curtained booths that seat about a dozen each on raw wood benches. The curtains fly up—as at a peep show—to reveal a wraithlike figure clad only in panties and a gauzy robe that suggests flayed skin. She launches into strings of gestures that make her look like the victim of apocalyptic disaster —military, political, or natural (like the tsunami). Three other women, in black, watch her from a dark corner. When she finally collapses, they seize the stage space, scuttling across it like vermin, sailing through it like birds of prey. Then their bodies flail, stutter, give way to racking spasms, emit silent cries, mutter half-intelligible words into floor mics readied for transmission. Implacable, they reanimate the debilitated soloist for further torture, and she numbly accedes to her role in the enactment of timeless, inevitable human agony. While Roderick Murray’s and Albert Sakhai’s designs contribute mightily to the scene, a richer movement vocabulary would make Castro’s fierce vision even more eloquent.

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