A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
Two intriguing works are showing at BAM this week. At the intimate BAM Fisher, iconoclastic choreographer Cynthia Oliver takes on the issue of what constitutes black masculinity in a world premiere, “Virago-Man Dem.” The Latin construct “virago” comes from roots that means simultaneously male and female — and has become a term to describe a female warrior or a powerful, difficult woman. Oliver chose to point her title to the powerful, layered experience that constitutes black male identity and sexuality. With a cast of four performers who focus both Afro-Caribbean and African-American lenses, the piece reflects Oliver’s no-holds-barred style. Opens Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30 pm. (Before the performance on Friday October 27, Oliver and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko will also give a free talk, “Examining Black Masculinity,” in Wendy’s Reading Room on the ground floor.)
Also opening at BAM in the grandly decrepit Harvey Theater, “boulders and bones” is a large-scale dance celebration by ODC/Dance, choreographed by California-based Brenda Way and KT Nelson, and inspired by the brilliant natural sculpture Culvert Cairn, by artist Andrew Goldsworthy. The dance is set in front of a huge video of the sculpture by RJ Muna, and accompanied live by cellist/composer Zoë Keating. Nature, time, and art – three huge canvases – converge. Opens Wednesday, October 25 at 7:30 pm.
In another part of town, the not-to-be-missed trio of Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, and Steve Paxton will perform and talk this week at Danspace Project in “Tea for Three,” their first-ever collaboration. Each of these choreographers carries so much of contemporary dance’s DNA that the combination offers almost any possibility; the “tea” suggests they’ve found a place of shared comfort with their choices. Opens on Thursday 10/26 at 8 pm.
Cover: Duane Cyrus and Jonathan Gonzalez in “Virago-Man Dem.” Photo © Chris Cameron.
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