Milestones

5/19/03 Brooklyn David takes a long piece of plywood out of the shed, and runs his hand across its edges. The handsaw slides back and forth, it splits and falls to the floor. Cutting does it. There are chairs set out like suspension bridges. Everything changes, their functions change. The sheet takes the shape of a …

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

The screened performance of Swan Lake undoubtedly problematizes what Susan Leigh Foster calls the ballerina-as-phallus. By performing homosexual heroes, this new approach to the classic ballet re-engages notions of gender identities in both political and aesthetic contexts. While I do not dispute the relevance of this problematization, I feel that Swan Lake more importantly interrogates the …

Fires in the Mirror Crown Heights Brooklyn and Other Identities

Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights Brooklyn and Other Identities

Anna Deavere Smith’s performance of Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights Brooklyn and Other Identities presents a fragmented portrait of the Brooklyn community shortly after the Crown Heights riots of August 1991. Smith’s acting virtuosity is exhibited through the verbatim reenactments of interviews that she held with different members of the community. The performance was a …

dionysius in 69

Dionysus in 69

I begin my critique of The Performance Group’s Dionysus in 69 with a short description of my ignorance. First, I have never read the play. The text and the liberties Schechner took with the text are unknown to me. I have a vague notion of the narrative structure, but little knowledge of specific events within the …

Carmelita Tropicana

Carmelita Tropicana

José Estebam Muñoz describes how performance, specifically theatricality, has a “worldmaking power.” He sites queer performance art as a “powerful and charged transformation of the world”. This transformation does not simply occur within the context of the performance, but continues to effect the ‘real world’ long after the performance has taken place. He stresses the …