IMPRESSIONS: "Untitled Feminist Show"
IMPRESSIONS: Untitled Feminist Show
Baryshnikov Arts Center
January 19, 2011 at 8pm
Conceived and directed by: Young Jean Lee
Featuring: Becca Blackwell, World Famous BOB, Hilary Clark, Katy Pyle, and Amelia Zirin-Brown (aka Lady Rizo)
Director of Choreography: Faye Driscoll
Associate Director: Morgan Gould
Untitled Feminist Show runs through February 4, 2012 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 W. 37th St, NYC). For more information click here
Tara Sheena for The Dance Enthusiast
Bold title. Nude bodies. Bare stage. Stark lighting. Young Jean Lee doesn’t hold much back in her newest theatrical contribution to the world of downtown art, Untitled Feminist Show. Known for being an intensely fearless leader in the New York experimental theatre scene, Lee, co-presented by P.S. 122 and BAC as a part of the COIL Festival, brings together six superstar females of the theatre, burlesque, and cabaret worlds to reveal various tropes of feminism. Dance Enthusiast devotees will appreciate the exciting dancing from downtown darlings Katy Pyle, Regina Rocke, and the inimitable Hilary Clark. Everything from lesbianism to sexual expression to domestic rituals is covered in this nearly wordless spectacle.
|Untitled Unfeminist Show- Pictured from Left to Right-Hilary Clark, Regina Rocke (center) and Katy Pyle. Photo Julieta Cervantes|
Lacking any overarching statement about feminism, the work takes stereotypical feminist ideals and interprets them through movement. A standout portion displays gestures of domesticity—changing a baby’s diaper, mixing ingredients in a bowl, scrubbing the floor—and morphs them to the rhythmic romp of hip-hop, a genre of music known for being decidedly misogynistic. However, I was never sure if I was supposed to make that distinction. A work that tags itself as feminist welcomes many connotations and it was never clear if these stereotypes were highlighted intentionally or inadvertently. Is the frivolous fusion merely the product of studio play; or, is there a deep-seated moral lesson here? Questions of this sort surface and resurface throughout the piece, but my experience was never hindered by my skepticism.
Lee does not hold much back as far as literal actions. For the cult following of adventurous theatregoers she has cultivated over the years, this is one more work to relish and revere; for the newcomers to an ever-growing experimental theatre scene in NYC, this is an exercise in spectator stamina.
|Untitled Feminist Show Photo Courtesy of Young Jean Lee.|