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

14Nov/16

BAM NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL — THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY

(photo by Maria Baranova)

Faye Driscoll makes her BAM debut with THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY (photo by Maria Baranova)

FAYE DRISCOLL
BAM Fisher, Fishman Space
321 Ashland Pl.
November 16-19, $25, 7:30
718-636-4100
www.bam.org
fayedriscoll.com

On July 30, we were on Governors Island, checking out a work-in-progress LMCC Open Studios presentation of Brooklyn-based choreographer Faye Driscoll’s latest evening-length piece, Thank You for Coming: Play. Like its dazzling predecessor, Thank You for Coming: Attendance, which had its New York premiere at Danspace Project in March 2014, it is a participatory, immersive work. In Attendance, people were invited to join in a swirling, exhilarating finale. At the advance look at Play on Governors Island, the audience again was involved, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise about how the interaction influenced dancers Paul Singh, Laurel Snyder, Sean Donovan, Alicia Ohs, and Brandon Washington. It all made for a charmingly controlled chaos; it will be fascinating to see how the piece, which had its world premiere in September at the Wexner Center at Ohio State University, has evolved, as Driscoll also took detailed notes at a wide-ranging postperformance discussion in which attendees were not shy about sharing their thoughts, which is exactly what Driscoll wanted. As she writes on her website, “I make dances that are mistaken for plays and load-in like installations. Sets are designed to break apart, musical scores are made from performers’ stomps and voices, props are worn, used, and reused for fantasy, excess, and loss. Performers sing, fight, frolic, and make love in bursts, like rapid fire flip-books of human emotion. Awkward virtuosic bodies teeter on the edge of high art and slapstick. A viewer feels a rollercoaster of joy, outrage, arousal, and discomfort while performers hold a frank gaze that says, ‘You are me and I am you.’ Embarrassment and exhilaration live side by side. I aim for an immersive world of sensorial complexity and perceptual disorientation. Through performers’ powerful exposure, heightened proximity, and at times physical connection with the audience, viewers feel their own culpability as co-creators of the performance. My work is a rigorously crafted group experience that comes off as improvised, chaotic and spontaneous.” The second part of a trilogy, Thank You for Coming: Play is running November 16-19 at the BAM Fisher; in addition, Driscoll, the recipient of the Harkness Dance Residency at the BAM Fisher, will be teaching a class, open to performers at all levels, on November 18 at 2:00 ($30) at the Mark Morris Dance Center across the street.

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