The Best Dance Of 2018

The dancers shown in old black-and-white photographs of works from the 1960s and ’70s reveal an unflinching seriousness and a sleek sense of purpose. What happens when those works come to life — not just through the bodies of the current generation of dancers, but also through those from the original era? This fall, the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done” and Twyla Tharp’s “Minimalism and Me” at the Joyce Theater afforded chances to celebrate the kinetic wisdom of older dancers.

The Judson collective, among other things, eschewed affectation and mannerism in performance, and for that reason Pat Catterson was an especially riveting sight. At 72, after 50 years of dancing, she performed for the final time in a program of works by Yvonne Rainer at MoMA. Her grounded presence and lack of artificiality allowed the movement to happen in such a direct, matter-of-fact way that it took on a sense of the ethereal.

The same was true of Lucinda Childs in “Particular Reel” (1973), a solo in which she took deliberate steps to create distinct pathways across the white stage of MoMA’s atrium. At 78, Ms. Childs, serene as ever, has astonishing control. In stark opposition was Ms. Tharp — at 77, she’s wilder than ever — who performed a madcap number that followed the revival of her exceptional “Eight Jelly Rolls” (1971) at the Joyce. She even let herself be flipped upside-down and later, in a solo turn, zigzagged across the stage like a manic butterfly with feet for wings.

Throughout her career, Valda Setterfield, the 84-year-old dancer and muse to David Gordon, her husband, has rarely been less than mesmerizing. In “The Matter @ MoMA/2018,” she surpassed herself. Just as Mr. Gordon’s production, both refined and freewheeling, showed what a living archive could be — the accompanying Judson show is anything but — Ms. Setterfield proved that aging in dance isn’t about showing how a body can look good doing less. It’s that an older body is a living archive, too. It holds everything.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/arts/dance/the-best-dance-of-2018.html

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The dancers shown in old black-and-white photographs of works from the 1960s and ’70s reveal an unflinching seriousness and a sleek sense of purpose. What happens when those works come to life — not just through the bodies of the current generation of dancers, but also through those from the original era? This fall, the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done” and Twyla Tharp’s “Minimalism and Me” at the Joyce Theater afforded chances to celebrate the kinetic wisdom of older dancers.

The Judson collective, among other things, eschewed affectation and mannerism in performance, and for that reason Pat Catterson was an especially riveting sight. At 72, after 50 years of dancing, she performed for the final time in a program of works by Yvonne Rainer at MoMA. Her grounded presence and lack of artificiality allowed the movement to happen in such a direct, matter-of-fact way that it took on a sense of the ethereal.

The same was true of Lucinda Childs in “Particular Reel” (1973), a solo in which she took deliberate steps to create distinct pathways across the white stage of MoMA’s atrium. At 78, Ms. Childs, serene as ever, has astonishing control. In stark opposition was Ms. Tharp — at 77, she’s wilder than ever — who performed a madcap number that followed the revival of her exceptional “Eight Jelly Rolls” (1971) at the Joyce. She even let herself be flipped upside-down and later, in a solo turn, zigzagged across the stage like a manic butterfly with feet for wings.

Throughout her career, Valda Setterfield, the 84-year-old dancer and muse to David Gordon, her husband, has rarely been less than mesmerizing. In “The Matter @ MoMA/2018,” she surpassed herself. Just as Mr. Gordon’s production, both refined and freewheeling, showed what a living archive could be — the accompanying Judson show is anything but — Ms. Setterfield proved that aging in dance isn’t about showing how a body can look good doing less. It’s that an older body is a living archive, too. It holds everything.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/arts/dance/the-best-dance-of-2018.html

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