Magazine article The New Yorker

Winter Preview

Magazine article The New Yorker

Winter Preview

Article excerpt

Winter Preview

Silas Riener, Rashaun Mitchell, and Charles Atlas explore spatial dimensions in "Tesseract."

We may think of the compulsion to document even the most mundane occurrences on social media as a twenty-first-century affliction, but it has a precedent: the abundant journal-writing of the seventeenth century. The British naval administrator and parliamentarian Samuel Pepys, for example, went on at great length in his journals about everything, from his bladder stones and his sexual escapades to what he had for lunch. From those diaries springs Big Dance Theatre's latest show, "17c" (at BAM Harvey, Nov. 14-18), an exploration of the art of self-revelation, then and now. In their characteristically smart, postmodern way, the piece's directors, Paul Lazar and Annie-B Parson (who also choreographs), create a parable of what they call "the obsessively annotated life," mixing dance and music, text and song.

When Merce Cunningham died, in 2009, his collaborators spun off in all directions, like planets in a solar system that has lost its sun. Two of his dancers, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, began making work together, in a style that blends their choreographic identities. They have joined forces with the filmmaker Charles Atlas, who worked with Cunningham on a series of pioneering dance films, to create "Tesseract" (at BAM Harvey, Dec. 13-16), which probes the intersection of 3-D film, live dance, and live-video capture. …

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