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

15Jan/12

COIL: UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW

The cast of UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW takes it all off at the 2012 Coil festival (photo by Blaine Davis)

Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jerome Robbins Theater
450 West 37th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
Extended through February 4, $25
www.bacnyc.org
www.ps122.org

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center for its “Out There 2012: Global Visionaries” series, Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show is indeed way out there. The Brooklyn-based Guggenheim Fellow and OBIE winner, who begins each new project by searching inside herself for the worst idea possible, this time came up with a sixty-minute production in which six women from different performing-arts disciplines blow the lid off gender expectations by singing and dancing completely naked — no clothes, no pasties, no makeup, and no specific hair styling. Actress Becca Blackwell, burlesque legend the World Famous *BOB*, cabaret comedienne Amelia Zirin-Brown (Lady Rizo), dancers Hilary Clark and Regina Rocke, and performance artist Katy Pyle engage in a series of events on a white floor surrounded on three sides by black curtains, a horizontal white monolith dangling above them on which occasional video images are projected. The women, who feature a wide range of body types and sizes, several of which audiences are not used to seeing nude onstage, act out a fairy tale, twirl about with pink umbrellas, get into a slow-motion fight, enjoy a little cannibalism, sing wordless songs, pantomime sex acts, rock out to hard-driving heavy metal, and dance a lovely pas de deux. But Untitled Feminist Show, choreographed by Faye Driscoll, Morgan Gould, and Lee with the participation of the performers, is not a mere celebration of womanhood, an angry show about female empowerment, an examination of contemporary sexual mores, or a political statement about gender identity; instead it is a hugely entertaining, extremely intelligent, and downright energizing tribute to individuality and the freedom to be who you are. Part of the Coil festival, Untitled Feminist Show is likely to be one of the most exciting, engaging, and liberating productions you’ll see all year — and if you’ve been shut out of getting tickets so far to this sizzling-hot event, you’re in luck, because the show has just been extended through February 4, with tickets going on sale today.

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