Women on the Verge: Vicky Shick, Screened and Unscreened

By Nancy Dalva
Copyright 2003, 2017 Nancy Dalva

NEW YORK — Vicky Shick is such a modest and reticent performer and choreographer that she does everything in her power, which is considerable, to disappear herself from the very stage on which she sets her work. Her new dance “Undoing,” first performed on March 4 and 5 at Dance Theatre Workshop (to be repeated on March 13, 14, 22 and 23), makes you feel as if you are spying on her, and on her four lovely female dancers (Juliette Mapp, Jodi Melnick, Eileen Thomas, and Meg Wolfe) glimpsing this and that through lamp-lit windows. This voyeuristic sensation recalls Trisha Brown, who made a solo called “If You Couldn’t See Me” some time after the six excellent years Schick spent in her company. (Incidentally but interestingly, another former Brown dancer, Stephen Petronio, otherwise a very different kind of choreographer and a totally different kind of dancer from Schick, evoked that same voyeuristic mood in his recent “City of Twist.” ) “Undoing” is elliptical, calligraphic, elegant, and unreadable, yet narrative. Imagine opening a book to find almost all the words erased — here and there an adverb, a noun, an indefinite article — and the pages out of order. That would be “Undoing.”

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