Haven’t yet subscribed to the DI? This week you’re missing Parker Herren’s Flash Review of Charles Atlas Presents: The Kitchen Follies, with performances by Dancenoise, Jodi Melnick, and others, and the accompanying retrospective of Atlas’s video work recently presented at the New York theater. This week subscribers also receive, exclusively by e-mail, from the DI’s Archive of more than 2,000 reviews of performances on five continents by more than 150 writers, Angela Jones’s 2004 Flash of Margie Gillis performing at the Joyce Theater, which begins: “Margie Gillis is the reason I dance and choreograph.” And, from the same year, Chris Dohse’s Flash of Tere O’Connor’s “Frozen Mommy,” which, Chris writes, “burns into the mind’s retina like an 8-millimeter film with embarrassing footage from your childhood that sticks in the projector and melts against its bulb, blistering the image to smithereens.” To subscribe to the DI and access both new content and stories from our 20-year archive, for just $39.95/year individuals (students: $19.95 with university ID) or $49.95 institutions, just designate your PayPal payment in that amount to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write us at that address to find out about payment by check or in Euros. (In the latter case, the payments will be directed to our European correspondents.) You can also contact us at that address to find out about limited, well-integrated e-mail and Web site advertising and sponsor options. The Dance Insider is sponsored by Freespace Dance (top) and Slippery Rock University Dance (above).
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By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2002, 2017 Chris Dohse
NEW YORK — Lucinda Childs inhabits the immaculate geometry of Sol LeWitt’s 1979 film “Dance” like an angel dancing on the head of a pin. Her iconic, impassive figure looms over the intervening decades, a postmodern totem, merged eternally with LeWitt’s rectilinear decor (black grid on white floor cloth) and Philip Glass’s mesmerizing score. For the Kitchen’s 30th anniversary, in a program seen Saturday night, Childs also ghosts herself, dancing live behind the scrim upon which LeWitt’s film is projected. Her repetitive skips, steps and small jetés done in the now — in straight lines and around the circumference of a circle — correspond nonchalantly with her filmed cadences and parabolas. The performance is a technical marvel, a monument to a certain period of art history, a minimal, relentless arithmetic. Yet stripped as it is to an autistic, tireless austerity, Childs’s delicate presence is haunting and inescapable. She becomes more than a universal human figure, inexhaustibly functioning in relationship to its surrounding space. After a time, you notice her frailty — that one of her arms seems to rotate more freely than the other, the mudra-like shapes her hands often form, her shy, averted gaze and her ironclad chill. She embodies the ‘space-bewitched’ creature once hypothesized by Oskar Schlemmer.
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