Magazine article Dance Magazine

Performers Lose Clothes for Cash

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Performers Lose Clothes for Cash

Article excerpt

AT A RECENT benefit for New York's Performance Space 122, 39-year-old board president Lucy Sexton stood naked onstage before 180 of the theater's most loyal benefactors, hoping to persuade them to open their checkbooks for an auction. She had twirled onstage just moments earlier, unfurling a ridiculously long red wrap dress until a microphone was the only thing separating her from the audience.

"P.S. 122 is in its twentieth year of offering works that challenge the mainstream," she announced, "and we're about to do something radical in the annals of performance art. We're going to stick around!"

Sexton, who often performed naked with the anarchistic duo DanceNoise, chose a stripped-down theme for this year's benefit, "Naked Ambition." Carmelita Tropicana hosted the May 28 event, at which Donald Byrd, Yoshiko Chuma, Murray Louis and Elizabeth Streb choreographed short takes on the striptease.

P.S. 122, founded in 1979 in an unused East Village public school building, was home to the 1980s avant-garde, including dancers Bill T. Jones and Molissa Fenley and performance artists Karen Finley, Spalding Gray, Holly Hughes, Eric Bogosian and John Leguizamo (who often come back to test new work). …

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