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Faye Driscoll’s work-in-progress brings dancers — and audience — together in unique ways (photo by Julie Lemberger)

Faye Driscoll’s work-in-progress brings dancers — and audience — together in unique ways (photo by Julie Lemberger)

92nd St. Y, Buttenwieser Hall
395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.
Sunday, March 3, $24, 3:00

For her “Stripped/Dressed” presentation at the 92nd St. Y, New York-based choreographer Faye Driscoll changed the general format, with spectacular results. Part of the Harkness Dance Festival, “Stripped/Dressed” invites choreographers to first stage a piece without adornment — no costumes, props, etc. — then discuss the work and show it again, the second time with theatrical accoutrements. Driscoll, whose previous work includes You’re Me, There is so much mad in me, and 837 Venice Blvd, transformed the already intimate Buttenwieser Hall into a warm, friendly gathering, with two rows of seats surrounding all four sides of the center Marley floor. Driscoll first discussed the genesis of her untitled work-in-progress, which examines such themes as mirroring, group ritual, and the interdependence of audience and performer, being sure to walk around the space so she could get close to everyone. Then the five dancers (Giulia Carotenuto, Jeremy Pheiffer, Anna Marie Shogren, Brandon Washington, and Nikki Zialcita) — who had never before performed in public for Driscoll or with one another; they had been hired through auditions in December — began a thirty-five-minute excerpt, wearing regular clothes, with no music and the house lights on throughout, in which they virtually were always in contact with one another as foot touched foot, fingers stroked hair, hands brushed chest, lips kissed neck, elbow banged shoulder, and head popped through legs in a dazzling display of emotion and physicality. The dancers also interacted with the audience via direct eye contact, the exchange of random objects, and touch as well. It’s like the craziest game of Twister you’ve ever seen, except taken to much deeper, provocative, metaphysical levels while, as is Driscoll’s wont, changing many of the rules. The choreographer pointed out that since the work is still in its early phases, some movements are likely to be expanded for the final piece, while others will probably disappear, but audience members after the show could be heard saying that they hope she doesn’t change a thing. The third and final presentation of Driscoll’s unique “Stripped/Dressed” presentation takes place Sunday afternoon at 3:00; curated by Doug Varone, for whom Driscoll previously danced, the series continues March 8-10 with the Liz Gerring Dance Company’s she dreams in code, March 15-17 with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, a Dance Company’s Gatekeepers, and March 22-24 with the Kate Weare Company’s Garden.

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  1. Jeremy….this looks like a fantastic piece! Wish I could see it. Sending all good things to you with your Dance!!
    Blessings and love from Santa Fe…..Sedena

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