Perhaps the history of dance theatre, think Pina Bausch and her pivotal role in bringing humanity to the stage, was Pat Graney Company’s impetus in making Girl Gods, presented at Peak Performances (October 22-25). For Bausch, characters (performers) were responsible for what is brought to the stage, and no panacea is offered for the resultant reaction to the message. Throughout Graney’s Girl Gods for example, in groups of two, three or five, incidents call to question talks with the performer’s mothers “…about power and anger.” Either writhing on the floor, serving tea, cooking chicken, or shifting through limbed sequences, they parade on an off stage in white boy-briefs and tank tops, red and black dresses, or as marionettes in sculpted dresses with large bows and clunky shoes. Voiceovers come and go to bring voice to each story. Bausch’s works were often unpredictable and folks just had to experience it. Girl Gods was an experience and there were many nice moments of truths. The terrific wall of cardboard “drawers,” and piling of black sand used intermittently by the performers (Cheryl Delostrinos, Sruti Dasai, Sara Jinks, Jody Kuehner and Jenny Peterson), as storage and as a partner, was designed by Holly Batt.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Kean University, Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."