In one hand, a male dancer holds a folding fan, tilting and turning it with subtle precision. On his hip, a pistol rests in a holster. It matches the Old West cowboy hat on his head. Braiding iconic symbols of Japanese and American cultures, this moment is arranged in the exact center of New York choreographer Yasuko Yokoshi’s Tyler Tyler, which opens on Thursday, October 14 at DiverseWorks.
Two full days of improvisation classes will follow. Movers of all types and improvisational novices are welcome to register for the festival classes. “Because you define the physicality in your dancing while improvising, it can be very appealing to all levels,” says Trump. “We have a variety of sessions to suit registrants at different stages of experience.”
The Rat Girls are an absurdly funny duo from Austin that poke fun at art and culture while wearing detachable tails, scarfing wieners, and clogging to Beyoncé. The satire is craftier than that sentence might imply. Also in the lineup, The Nonsense Music Band, a one-man orchestra (namely Dug Falk) administered a nerdy brand of anecdotal hip hop that served as an entertaining conclusion to a lengthy program.
Once seated in the “observation room,” the viewers submit to a mixed-media collage of investigative reports regarding government testing and use of mind control methods. Documentary film clips covering the CIA’s illegal and supposedly abandoned human research programs MK-ULTRA and Project ARTICHOKE are scattered throughout. Unfortunately, audio within the small, industrial room is often muffled making these curious little nuggets of intelligence difficult to decipher.
Delivering the strongest male performance of the evening, Kerry Jackson is trapped in a box of light. His passionate tirade in Consumed, an introduction to Kate Skarpetowska’s slightly scary world of driven conformists. Leaping from the stage he escapes an army of “suits” that urge surrender to their worker bee mentality. A Julliard alumni, Skarpetowska has danced for David Parsons, Lar Lubovitch, and newly named Alvin Ailey Artistic Director, Robert Battle. These influences are clear in athletic choreography, rich with human peculiarities.