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

11Nov/11

EMILY JOHNSON/CATALYST: THE THANK-YOU BAR

Emily Johnson offers the audience glowing surprises in THE THANK-YOU BAR (photo by Ian Douglas)

New York Live Arts
Bessie Schönberg Theater
219 West 19th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
Through November 12, $15-$20
212-691-6500
www.newyorklivearts.org
www.catalystdance.com

Every once in a while, something comes along that’s so delightfully fresh and invigorating, so new, that you want to shout about it from the rooftop and out windows so everyone can know about it. (Well, at least in the old days. Now you can just write about it on your blog.) Emily Johnson’s The Thank-you Bar is just such an experience. To say too much about it would be giving it away, but for about an hour, Johnson and composers James Everest and Joel Pickard of BLACKFISH put on a dazzlingly original display of dance, video, live music, storytelling, and performance art, filled with surprises that at times engage the audience in the offbeat goings-on. Johnson is a charming performer and ringleader with a sly sense of humor, beaming with a contagious smile as she comments directly and indirectly on the very serious concepts of home and individual identity. A native Alaskan of Yup'ik descent, the Minneapolis-based Johnson has reconfigured the piece specifically for New York Live Arts, where it continues through Saturday night. We won’t say any more about it, but you can read Johnson discuss it in our twi-ny talk here.

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