Abrons Arts Center Playhouse
466 Grand St. at Pitt St.
Friday, January 18, 7:00; Saturday, January 19, 9:00; Sunday, January 20, 4:00
Bessie-award-winning choreographer Faye Driscoll creates inventive, unpredictable works that mix a sly sense of humor with serious social commentary, resulting in such engaging pieces of dance theater as There Is So Much Mad in Me, 837 Venice Blvd. and WOW, MOM, WOW. This weekend she is bringing back last year’s vastly entertaining You’re Me, which ran at the Kitchen in April 2012 and will now be presented at the Abrons Arts Center as part of the American Realness festival. In You’re Me, the New York-based Driscoll examines the complicated, ever-changing nature of interpersonal relationships. As the audience enters the space, Driscoll and a male dancer (Jesse Zaritt at the Kitchen, Aaron Mattocks at Abrons) are standing still and ridiculously tall at the back of the stage, wearing a bevy of costumes that reference Lewis Carroll’s Red and White Queens as well as Winnie from Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, combining humor with absurdity. Pieces of their outfits start to fall off until the performers are reduced to their basic selves and begin exploring each other through a series of awkward movements as if on a first date, feeling out the possibilities as they touch, squirm, hug, eat, and experiment with their bodies, learning about themselves and their partner. This first section, which is performed with little or no background music and evokes silent films at times, goes on slightly too long but eventually morphs into a middle piece in which the duo goes crazy with spray paint before ending with an exhilarating display of props and costumes (courtesy of Emily Roysdon) changing at a furious pace. You’re Me is another strong, intricately conceived work from a talented choreographer who is not afraid to take chances and challenge both her audience and her dancers. Here she delves into the very essence of art and creativity as she and her partner keep going for ninety breathless minutes that allow plenty of room for improvisation, so you never can guess quite what is going to happen next. American Realness runs through January 20 and also features works by Jeanine Durning, BodyCartography Project, Miguel Gutierrez, and others. Look for Driscoll again in March, when she’ll be presenting new work at the 92Y Harkness Dance Festival.