Magazine article Dance Magazine

Compagnie Maguy Marin

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Compagnie Maguy Marin

Article excerpt

The Joyce Theater, NYC

June 17-22, 2008

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Maguy Marin's Umwelt is not an easy piece any way you look at it--neither for her nine dancer/actors to perform nor for the audience to watch. It doesn't remotely resemble either a traditional dance performance or something in opposition--that is, say, devoid of movement or sound. It is more like boot camp, or a colonic, and watching the entire show (many at the Joyce didn't) has a cathartic, exhilarating, if definitely earned, effect. It is rigorous, unsubtle, highly structured, and inspired. And it is proof that Marin is among the most politically and culturally incisive choreographers working today.

The crux of the work is a simple looping sequence traced, usually, by two or more dancers. They emerge from behind a stand of layered reflective panels, do something, and disappear again. The tasks begin tamely enough: eating an apple, donning a play crown or hat, kissing one another. They are performed amid adverse circumstances--an onslaught of high winds from offstage fans, and grating sound (by Denis Mariotte), emanating from a rope crossing three colorful guitars with the aid of motorized pulleys, set downstage. …

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