Posts Tagged ‘Night Journey’

90 Years and Counting: The Martha Graham Dance Company

The Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary season (April 14-18) at New York City Center opened with Graham’s Night Journey (1947) and closed with her Cave of the Heart (1946). In between these masterworks, about Greek tragedy heroines, was a world premiere by the experimentalist Marie Chouinard and the last proscenium work that the venerable Swedish choreographer Mats Ek said that he would ever make. Considering that Chouinard’s Inner Resources reads like an uninspired group of teenage competition dancers trying to look avant-garde and Ek’s Axe was both terrifying and beautiful, it is a tragedy that Ek will not be making more dances for the stage and that Chouinard will.

Read the rest of this article »

Basil Twist Camps History in Sisters Follies

Basil Twist’s “Sister’s Follies: Between Two Worlds,” commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the Abrons Playhouse, is a testament to how camp can save performance history from oblivion. Dance and theater works of yore are notoriously difficult to stage because they often look hopelessly old fashioned. But in “Sisters’ Follies,” Twist—a newly minted MacArthur Genius and a third generation puppeteer—casts Joey Arias, the celebrated drag queen chanteuse, and Julie Atlas Muz, the burlesque performance artist, to play the titular sisters: Alice and Irene Lewisohn, who founded the Playhouse in 1915. Muz and Arias are stars of satire, but they aren’t real-life divas (like the Lewisohn sister were). Under Twist’s direction, Muz and Arias often flip and dangle from wires, which divas don’t do. They prance and preen, belt and belittle each other in the jewel-box size theater, which is made spectacular through the efforts of 11 behind the scenes performers, who manipulate large and small puppets in costumes that range from camels to biblical figures. The Lewisohn’s Playhouse becomes Twist’s camp marionette theater.

Read the rest of this article »