SHOW TITLE: Falling Man
PRODUCER: Leonard Cruz Tanztheater
HAILING FROM: Maryland
SHOW DESCRIPTION: A solo performance that responds to the work of Max Beckmann and the famous photo of a man falling from the World Trade Center. Themes of falling and rising through dance and story telling will be explored.
I often find myself in a bizarre tug-of-war with dance shows – that I find myself wanting both more and less context for the dances as they happen. I often find myself lost with purely abstract movement (and in this instance, boy howdy do I find myself missing John Munger more and more each year), but at the same time I often find myself resenting outright explanation.
(In this case, I’ll confess that I was annoyed by the performer’s repeated apologies for how dark the dances were, and how he wasn’t sure that we could handle just how dark he was going to go, which honestly feels pretty goddamn insulting.)
That said, I found the dancer extraordinary – he is proficient, and it was consistently satisfying to watch his limbs snap into their seemingly inevitable place.
(Oddly, the other piece I struggled with was yet another storytelling hybrid, in which he narrated action that was occasionally reinforced by movement. While the underlying story was both moving and compelling, the fact is that his facility with language does not match his facility with his body, and his words did not snap into place in the satisfying manner that his limbs did. It seems strange that his proficiency as a dancer made me less tolerant of his shortcomings as a storyteller, but, well. There it is.)
Likewise, I wasn’t in love with the seemingly self-aggrandizing Q&A session following the show (and those things are always a minefield for audiences, I find). That said, those are three sequences that I struggled with: for the vast bulk of the performance, I was riveted.