Theater archives



Twisted, tack, broken is Kathy Westwater’s Vulcan fantasy. She coins the term “neo-romantic melodrama” for this 70-minute dance in which the natural and artificial lock in symbiosis and the initial duet is “a stumble toward cohesion.”

In July, Westwater and Abby Block performed twisted in a sylvan stretch of Stuyvesant Cove Park. Blue and orange costumes marked them as birds of a different feather. Flanked with coniferous green along the piney path, the hyper-real scene glowed in the evening light. The barely moving dancers coupled without passion, casting an unbroken spell of hypnotically extended limbs and twisting torsos. Peter Kirn’s electronic score augmented the hum of traffic on the East River Drive, a stone’s throw away. Reworked for the stage, twisted, to be performed by Block and Laura Manzella, features new sampled sound.

Westwater, 41, spent formative years with the Louisville Ballet Company, and studied math and economics at Virginia’s College of William and Mary because it didn’t have dance. She teaches improvisation at Sarah Lawrence, where she recently earned her MFA and a grounding in choreographic structure. “Creativity comes to me by combining two unalike things and coming up with a third thing,” she says.