Moving to a Disco Beat, or the Clatter of Household Objects

Michelle Boulé's The Monomyth

Follow your bliss. Depending on your mood, that phrase is either enlightening or exasperating. Both could be used to describe Michelle Boulé’s latest work, “The Monomyth,” which takes partial inspiration from the writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell, who coined the saying. It also refers to his vision of a hero’s journey: Embark on an adventure, face a crisis, and, in the end, emerge transformed. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

May 23, 2017

Review: Jimena Paz’s ‘Yellow’ Glows Radiant in the Dusk

Jimena Paz's Yellow

The first scream is a shock. In the middle of an enigmatic solo, performed largely in silence in the intimate confines of the Chocolate Factory, it’s unsettling when the dancer shrieks like a horror movie victim. The second and third screams are less jolting, folded in with calmer activities, but they still stick out among the mysteries of Jimena Paz’s “Yellow,” such as: Why does the performance take place two hours before sunset? Read More...

Brian Seibert

New York Times

Apr 25, 2017

‘Work’ and the Feel of Private Practice Made Public

Ursula Eagly's Piece with gaps for each other

As the audience filed into the Chocolate Factory on Wednesday, Ms. Eagly and her team were adorning the white room with sheets of paper, haphazardly crumpled and draped, drawing our attention to the space’s contours: its uneven brick walls, electrical outlets, exposed pipes. Effortlessly elegant, Ms. Eagly tossed off a gangly movement phrase while people mingled, introducing dance as another material. Read More...

Siobhan Burke

New York Times

Apr 05, 2017

To Sam Kim, One Is the Most Narcissistic Number That You’ll Ever Know

Sam Kim's Fear in Porcelain

The contemporary choreographer Sam Kim believes that the dance solo is, well, gross. (Take that, Anna Pavlova and all your dying swans.) In “Fear in Porcelain,” Ms. Kim challenges the very idea of a solo, which she sees as being part of a deeply narcissistic tradition. Her aim is to extinguish the ego; this evening-length premiere, performed Wednesday at the Chocolate Factory, features not one dancer but four. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

Nov 11, 2016

Beth Gill’s ‘Catacomb,’ Dreamlike and Site-Specific

Beth Gill's Catacomb

After a blackout signaled the end of Beth Gill’s new Catacomb, it was pin-drop time, a rare instance in which reflexive habits (show’s over; you clap) didn’t change the room’s atmosphere. We were still under Ms. Gill’s odd spell. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

May 19, 2016

Review: Exploring Domestic Drudgery in ‘Play, Thing’

Heather Kravas' play, thing

In January, the choreographer Heather Kravas presented her aggressively stringent solo “dead, disappears,” in which she walked on her toes with her head covered by a garbage bag, urinated in a bucket and beat a pillow, duct-taped to a chair, with a pole. For her new “play, thing,” she extends her passion for repetitive movement and simple props with more dancers — six in total — who execute three independent, converging duets. It has a twin theme. The pillow is back, but this time there are two. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

Apr 28, 2016

Review: ‘Adult Documentary’ Is Dense and Difficult, Including the Carpet

Juliana F. May's Adult Documentary

During this age of reality television and its aggressive pursuit of chaos, it doesn’t seem a coincidence that the choreographer Juliana F. May has created “Adult Documentary,” a work constructed of real and fictional stories by its performers. Those stories serve as raw material, distorted over time and replayed on an incessant loop as Ms. May drains and fills in her choreographic terrain. That, by the way, is an expanse of sandy brown carpet — just thick enough that if you walked into a hotel room covered with it you’d think twice before taking off your socks. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

Mar 03, 2016

Five Years

David Neumann's I Understand Everything Better

Last week I had the great good fortune to secure a hard-to-come-by seat to I Understand Everything Better, a dance-theater work by David Neumann and his Advanced Beginner Group. Co-commissioned last year by Abrons Arts Center and the Chocolate Factory, it was reprised this month as part of P.S.122’s COIL festival. Afterwards, my mind turned to Wallace Stevens’s gorgeous poem “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” with its evocation of major weather, the sort that will not be conjured. Read More...

Claudia La Rocco

Jan 19, 2016

Michelle Ellsworth’s Provocative Protocols

Michelle Ellsworth's Clytigation: State of Exception

It is best to attend Clytigation: State of Exception, by the unclassifiable performance artist Michelle Ellsworth, with a healthy appetite. I’m not talking about your stomach, though during the show at the Chocolate Factory in Queens, where the work had its New York debut on Wednesday, someone cooks enough pancakes for everyone. The extraordinary plenitude on offer is mental. This is high entertainment with no empty calories. Read More...

Brian Seibert

New York Times

Nov 13, 2015

Review: Silas Riener, Emanating Force in ‘Blue Name’

Silas Rieners' Blue Name

Silas Riener, now free from the constraints of a conventional group — he was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007 until it disbanded in 2011 — is a rare sort of dancer, one whose body emits force, whether the results are satiny, vigorously unyielding or somewhere in between. Read More...

Gia Kourlas

New York Times

Oct 16, 2015