Thursday, April 10, 2008

Petronio Review workshopped...

Tonight in my Writing on Dance course I submitted my review of Petronio's performance last week (that I also did for ExploreDance but he hasn't posted it yet...) and it was "workshopped" and reviewed/critiqued by others in the class. I haven't had my writing reviewed like that in a LONG time, so it was really really good and helpful! I need to do more things like this. I was happy with the result.

Since ExploreDance still hasn't posted the review I figured I'd put it up here. This is the UNREVISED version from before tonight's editing/review session.

I just left the Joyce again, where i saw Eliot Feld's ManDance Project to review for both explore and the course again. Will post that when I'm done.

For now, here's Petronio:

Petronio’s Premieres Yell for Attention: Stephen Petronio at the Joyce

Stephen Petronio’s program at The Joyce Theater April 1-6 offers a subtle nod to the past and a proud jump into the contemporary.

His style changes throughout the evening, keeping the eye intrigued. A common theme is his juxtaposition of movement versus stillness, where a single dancer holds a pose as if anchoring down the nearby storm of legs and arms. His dancers often cringe and repulse as if a weighted marble were traveling through their bodies, falling out of nowhere, slipping through the path of their veins, gaining momentum, and rolling out a fingernail or toe for eternity.

The full-length world premiere, “This Is the Story of a Girl in a World,” comprises of five contrasting works aiming to explore the blurred line of gender. Perhaps the most transcendent of these otherwise discrete puzzle pieces is “Snap,” where a male and a female appear in silence only bearing black underwear. Together they hand their previous garments to a stage manager, who casually parades across the proscenium, before taking their pose.

“Ahhh,” they yell simultaneously, startling the sexy silence surrounding them. Moving into images and phrases of feminine influence – limp wrists, abducted shoulders, suggestive facial expressions – their synchronization within abstract movement enhances the uniformity of gender. Interspersed with brief cries and shouts, the beat of their breath is sensuous.
“Beauty and the Brut” is less overt. Movement is trumped by the original contemporary score by Fischerspooner, an art-pop duo whose electric music mixes with vocals narrating a story of a French girl meeting a “freaky guy” at a beach.

Petronio’s 2006 work “Bloom” is more aesthetically pleasing than the two world premieres. Beginning with members of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City walking ominously up the aisles of the theater while humming a capella, the dance proceeds rather solemnly against a navy blue backdrop. The elements mesh into a more subdued, accessible experience unlike the rest of the evening.

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