Theater archives

Hot Topic for the Queer and Questioning: What’s Dance?


At Dixon Place’s queer performance fest (schedule details at, Curator Isabel Lewis suggested her works-in-progress evening would stretch definitions of dance. Christy Pessagno’s video—amusing at-home interviews with youngsters of fluid gender identity—was a winner, though hard to peg as dance. Her editing did nicely capture a kind of hyper, distracted energy. Jillian Pe video of perverse, pudge-faced twins drew power from dramatic gesture and facial expression. In his solo, affectless Neal Beasley labeled a folding chair with the words “Small Forest,” repeatedly humped it, and lay supine with its crossbar pressed against his windpipe. Jonah Bokaer, stripped bare, lay prone and motionless as his computerized, projected doppelg rapidly danced contortions and levitations. Amazingly, Bokaer followed with similar moves, like an artist’s mannequin possessed, and then slowly drank bottled water, chest heaving, while gradually descending a ladder.