BWW Reviews: Neil Greenberg Goes Back and Forward with THIS

BWW Reviews: Neil Greenberg Goes Back and Forward with THIS

BWW Reviews: Neil Greenberg Goes Back and Forward with THIS

Last weekend New York Live Arts hosted the premier of Neil Greenberg's This, a full length work taking inspiration from Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation. This is Mr. Greenberg's attempt to flesh out the complexities of meaning-making by presenting the audience with an idea, a choreographic structure or motif, and then abandoning it entirely. The randomness of the dance speaks to the transient nature or performance. In Greenberg's words "dance can be representational and often is, and often quite productively. But it doesn't have to be." Rather than justifying a concrete thesis, he creates a world of interpersonal relationships. Among the performers, there are clear relationships- not in the humanistic sense but more like living art. Ultimately, this work belongs to the dancers in one of the best ensembles I've seen on the New York stage. The tension and energy between the performers is really the hook that tethers this breezy work.

The piece opens on a bare stage divided into three sections by two cross cutting towers of lights. Omagbitse Omagbemi enters the stage. Her knowing smiles give her a maternal air as she watches over the other three dancers for the duration of the piece. Molly Lieber follows close behind. If there was a physical interpretation of postmodern dance, Ms. Lieber embodies it. Her long and strong frame takes the stage with a fearless punch. Even the simplest of phrase work radiates from her toes through the tips of her wavy tousled hair.


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Brendan Drake Brendan Drake is a Brooklyn based freelance choreographer, dancer and occasional writer. He creates work under the umbrella of his group Brendan Drake Choreography which has been produced at Movement Research, Dixon Place, The Wild Project and others. His first full length work entitled Last B@#$% Standing, premiered at Triskelion Arts Center as part of their Split Bill Commissioning Program. Brendan holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Massachusetts.