A young woman cannot
stand the sight of her devout parents in prayer. She tries to flee but
her father grabs her forcefully and yanks her back into the tenement room
with her mother. Trapped between her parents, the young woman attempts
escape several times. When she succeeds, the parents continue to pray.
Meanwhile, the young woman knows she hasn't really escaped.
young woman plays a central, Kafka-esque role in "Neither,"
a highly original, unusually compelling dance-theater work by choreographer
Doug Varone that unfolds within the peeling walls of the Lower East Side
Tenement Museum's unrestored apartments. Created for audiences of no more
than 20 people per performance, "Neither" explores the larger-than-life
themes of love, regret and the yearning to matter within the small, intimate
spaces once inhabited by turn-of-the-century immigrants.
and haunting from the outset, the dance also brings the audience and the
performers into extremely close contact with one another. Throughout me
hour-long work, the audience members follow the dancers from room to room
and can stand where they choose to watch the latest installment of the
trials and tribulations of the young woman.
an award-winning choreographer known for his emotionally resonant, high-velocity
movements, impressively bridges abstract, timeless themes with the historically
rich, physically deteriorating apartments through the bodies of his dancers.
As they leap and twist from room to room, the dancers' movements evoke
everything from confinement to love to respect for the past. Meanwhile,
the mezuzahs that still flank the doors of those tenements continue to
do exactly the same thing.
The peeling walls
of Lower East Side Tenement Museum host "Neither," a dance-theater
work by Doug Varone and various dancers.