This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

31May/11

GOTHAM DANCE FESTIVAL: BRIAN BROOKS MOVING COMPANY

The Brian Brooks Moving Company will present MOTOR and two other pieces in their Joyce debut this week (photo by Christopher Duggan)

The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.
June 1, 3, 5, $10-$39
Festival runs June 1-12
212-691-9740
www.joyce.org
www.brianbrooksmovingcompany.com

The New York City-based Brian Brooks Moving Company will make its Joyce debut this week, kicking off the Gotham Dance Festival on June 1. Founded in 1997 by artistic director and choreographer Brian Brooks, who also teaches at Dance New Amsterdam, BBMC will present 2007’s solo I’m Going to Explode, 2010’s cable-laden MOTOR, which deals with perpetual motion and features a score by Jonathan Pratt, and the world premiere of Descent, set to music by Adam Crystal. The company consists of Brooks, Hollis Bartlett, Meghan Frederick, Jeff Kent Jacobs, Jo-anne Lee, Danielle McIntosh, and Aaron Walter, with lighting by Philip Trevino and costumes by Liz Prince. BBMC will also be part of the DRA Fire Island Dance Festival on July 16-17. The Gotham Dance Festival continues through June 12 at the Joyce with performances by Monica Bill Barnes & Company; Abraham, Driscoll, Dolbashian; Kate Weare Company; CorbinDances; and Barnett, Leite, Skybetter.

DESCENT concludes Brian Brooks Moving Company show at the Joyce in uplifting fashion (photo by Christopher Duggan)

Update: The Brian Brooks Moving Company made its Joyce debut Tuesday night with a little bit of the old and a little bit of the new as part of the Gotham Dance Festival. After intermission, Brooks performed his thrilling solo I’m Going to Explode, which is set to LCD Soundsystem’s first single, “Losing My Edge.” Dressed as a commuter and sitting in a chair to the side of the stage, Brooks took off his shoes and suit jacket, then began moving to the funky techno beat, often keeping his arms fully extended, concentrating primarily on his upper body, head, and shoulders as James Murphy sang about his favorite bands and clubs. The evening concluded with the world premiere of the beautiful Descent, which started off with one male dancer carrying another over the side of his body across a stage glowing in smoky horizontal beams of light, then going back again, soon joined by other same-sex pairs doing the same thing. Next, the dancers used small boards to keep colorful sheets of fabric floating through the air, creating lovely patterns that they wouldn’t let reach the floor. The third section involved the dancers jumping at one another, being caught in an upside-down use of the arms. Set to an electronic music score composed by Adam Crystal, Descent is an enticing work that actually focuses more on ascending than descending, preventing people and objects from touching the ground. MOTOR, which premiered at the 2010 Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, was performed first, an erratic, occasionally chaotic, at times awe-inspiring work set on a stage from which dozens of cables shoot out over the audience, making it feel like everyone is inside a futuristic time capsule. The piece began with unusual movement among two groups of three men and three women, then featured Jo-anne Lee repeatedly walking over a standing male dancer, up the front of his body, over his head, and down his back. As the dancers shed much, but not all, of their clothing, it became rather repetitive, going on too long, but setting things up for a much more satisfying second act.

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