Baryshnikov Arts Center, Howard Gilman Performance Space
450 West 37th St. between Ninth & Tenth Aves.
January 7-10, $20
Festival runs January 3-22
“We don’t present objects, static fixed ideas. These are living, breathing, complicated, flawed, and wonderful experiences. Profound and unpredictable. Difficult,” outgoing PS122 artistic director Vallejo Gantner said about Coil 2017, the last he will oversee. Although he was referring to the multidisciplinary festival as a whole, his words also apply to the highly anticipated world premiere of Molly Lieber + Eleanor Smith’s Basketball, a PS122 commission that runs January 7-10 at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Since 2006, Lieber (Maria Hassabi, Donna Uchizono, luciana achugar) and Smith (Ivy Baldwin, Juliana F. May/MAYDANCE, Katie Workum) have been creating physically and emotionally powerful duets rooted in improvisation. In such works as Tulip, Beautiful Bone, and Rude World, the pair invites the audience into intimate experiences that can be both gorgeous and uncomfortable, as if they have opened up the door on an imaginary private life. Their pieces are also a celebration of the female body. In the seventy-five-minute Basketball, Lieber and Smith, who were nominated for a 2013 Bessie Award for Emerging Choreographer — Lieber also won a 2016 Outstanding Performer Bessie “for her introspective and tenacious performances” — explore past shames as they merge back and forth through time and space. Coil 2017 continues through January 22 with such other dance-related programs as Antony Hamilton and Alisdair Macindoe’s Meeting, Pavel Zuštiak / Palissimo’s Custodians of Beauty, Nicola Gunn’s Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster, and Bobbi Jene Smith and Keir GoGwilt’s A Study on Effort.