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Arts Watch: Yvonne Meier’s “This is Not a Pink Pony 1+2”

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Photo Courtesy Yvonne Meier
Photo Courtesy Yvonne Meier

I have always been mesmerized by the dances that choreographer Yvonne Meier creates.  Her dancers move like school kids on a playground during recess, with incredible high-speed, total physical commitment and no fear. It is nothing for them to bounce off of walls, floors or each-other.  They might dance in a darkened maze of cardboard boxes, or fling themselves into a pile of dirt and walnuts with ropes tied around their waists (just a few of the props she has cleverly used over the years); all in a choreographed, controlled chaos, usually set to a wildly experimental musical score.

A Lower East Side original, Meier has been presenting her post-modern spectacles since the ’80s. Her approach to dance, which is rooted in improvisation, has developed into a unique technique she calls “scores,” which provide dancers with the framework, more or less, for “experiencing and expressing physical urges” in relationship to a given task or situation.  The rest is up to them — and the audience. She requires total physical commitment from her dancers and sometimes asks the same of her audience. In The Shining, that maze of boxes becomes a fun-house stage where audience members are guided one by one through the dark by moving dancers with flashlights. (Not one for scary rides, this is still one of my favorite interactive dance experiences.)

This Thursday – Saturday, Abrons Arts Center presents two separate yet interconnected Meier pieces—the remounting of her 2008 show, This is not a pink pony 1, with the original cast of dancers: Osmany Tellez, Marion Ramirez, and Arturo Vidich, and a new creation, This is not a pink pony 2, with dancers Aki Sasamoto, Jeremy Pheiffer, and Arturo Vidich.

A mix of a “Dr. Zhivago love triangle” and the notion of “bullying as a way to turn out rough and complex relationships,” Pink Pony 1 and 2  place the dancers in unexpected situations that ask for unconventional solutions. Be on the look out for more interesting uses of rope, and get ready to go along for the  ride.

Yvonne Meier: This is not a pink pony 1 + 2 // Abrons Arts Center // Thursday – Sunday, May 30 – June 1 // 7:30pm // $20.

 

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