Power Plays by Robert Dekkers for Post:Ballet

 

Post:Ballet dancers in Robert Dekkers' TASSEL (Photo: Tricia Cronin)

Post:Ballet dancers in Robert Dekkers’ TASSEL (Photo: Tricia Cronin)

 
Like a René Magritte painting come to life, Robert Dekkers’ latest assault on the conventions of theatrical dance piled up one absurd image on another in precise, deliberate fashion, leading us rapidly from a vision of tranquil domesticity into hell and chaos, in concert with Anna Meredith’s seductive electronic score. This was gamely executed on opening night last November by The Living Earth Show, a guitar and percussion duo who wore lampshades over their faces the entire time.

Tassel recalls Dekkers’ surreal and somewhat grisly reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood at the West Wave Dance Festival on the same stage at San Francisco’s Z Space the year before.
 

Raychel Diane Weiner and Jeremy Bannon-Neches in Robert Dekkers' YOURS IS MINE (Photo: Natalia Perez)

Raychel Diane Weiner and Jeremy Bannon-Neches in Robert Dekkers’ YOURS IS MINE (Photo: Natalia Perez)

 
Dekkers’ other new piece on this program, entitled Yours is Mine was set to Bodega, an electrifying industrial soundscape by Jonathan Pfeffer. Three terrific male dancers (Jeremy Bannon-Neches, Aidan DeYoung and Christian Squires) strut and swagger, staking out their territory on the mean streets, members of some 21st century gang or triad. Every encounter is hostile, threatening and the occasional hint of sexual aggression distills to a matter of power and turf.

Once Raychel Diane Weiner enters, however, we realize that (program notes be damned) this is one gang, not two at war with each other, and Weiner is not there to taunt them, to add some female sexual tenson or pit them off against each other: she is their ringleader, their capo. The men jointly parade her overhead and toss her heroically from one to another, in the style of George Balanchine’s seminal Agon – but like the central female figure in Agon, she calls the shots.

For a complete review of this program, which also featured captivating revivals of two of Dekkers’ earlier work, zip on over to the Huffington Post.

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