Thursday, October 28
7:00pm — 8:00pm
9:00pm — 10:00pm
Hamilton Fish Pool (Lower East Side)
American artist and choreographer Madeline Hollander collaborates with 25 professional dancers from New York’s iconic dance companies whose public performances were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown. Using the dance world’s universal “marking” language, the short-hand gestures that dancers employ to run through choreography in rehearsals, as her material alongside the spatial blocking they use to outline the trajectory of their bodies, Hollander composes a performance that interweaves the choreographies of the canceled repertoires of each dance company on one stage. This new work titled Review is staged inside the Hamilton Fish Pool in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with the audience seated on opposite sides, offering a vantage point above the dancers to follow their choreographic patterns. After an eighteen-month hiatus in New York’s performance season, Review presents a history that never happened and an homage to the city’s dance communities.
“Before the pandemic hit I had been in production creating a large-scale performance featuring dancers from companies all over New York City who would come together on one stage to present works that were just about to premiere—future choreographies that they were in the process of rehearsing but had not yet reached the stage or a public audience. This piece was called Preview, offering a sneak peek into the future of the city’s dance community with the anticipatory energy akin to watching an orchestra warm up just before the lights dim and curtain rises. On March 12, 2020, which marks my last live performance at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Preview came to a sudden halt; the city was shutting down, rehearsals were postponed indefinitely, performances cancelled, tickets refunded, and theater doors closed like dominos. A year went by and rescheduled performance dates were still “tbd.” At this point I knew that this once future-oriented work needed to be inverted—I would review the works that were rehearsed, scheduled, and then cancelled due to the pandemic, as opposed to waiting for them to come back to life.”
“Preview morphed into Review and became a type of requiem, honoring the dancers, choreographers, companies, and theaters for the immense time and collective energy already put into each of these productions. Review is a piece composed of 25 professional dancers from a selection of New York’s iconic dance companies, all sharing one stage to move through their own cancelled repertoires. It features dancers from Trisha Brown Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s West Side Story, New York City Ballet, the Met Opera, and Bill T. Jones Company among many others, who will all be marking through choreographies that were scheduled to be performed over the last year and a half, and remain stuck within their bodies, in a “pandemic purgatory.”
“The piece presents a juxtaposition of bodies, techniques, styles, and choreographies that have never before shared a stage and illuminates the dance world’s often overlooked universal system of sign language, called “marking”: a type of hand-signaling or dance “short-hand” that enables a dancer to move through and rehearse their choreography without performing their role “full out” and exhausting their body. It is also a tool that ballet mistresses may use to set a ballet with just their hands to communicate the steps to the dancers. I consider this work a “live choreographic readymade” because each of the dancers’ choreography is pre-set and represents ballets dating from the 1800s to the present. Some of Review’s repertoire has been performed thousands of times over the past century and some has never set foot on stage; each has their own story and running time. My role in Review is to suture together this diverse group of choreographies, dancers, and durations to create an altogether new ballet, one that celebrates the wide range of styles, companies, and choreographers that are deeply imbedded within New York’s cultural landscape and stands as an homage to all the performers who were not able to take their final bows.”
This text was initially published in the October 2021 Critics Page of The Brooklyn Rail.
Works Canceled or Indefinitely Postponed in Chronological Order
From March 2020 to Present:
West Side Story (2020), choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Broadway Theatre, March 12, 2020.
Groove and Countermove (2000), Set and Reset (1983), Working Title (1985), by Trisha Brown. Trisha Brown Dance Company. Manège, scène nationale (Reims, France), March 17-18, 2020; Le POC (Alfortville, France), March 21, 2020; Chaillot - Théâtre National de la Danse (Paris, France), March 25-28, 2020; Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, South Carolina), May 29-30, 2020; La Rose des Vents, Scène nationale Lille Métropole (Villeneuve d’Ascq, France), April 1-3, 2020.
La Traviata (2020), choreography by Lorin Latarro. Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Opera House, March 19, 2020.
Fiddler on the Roof (2016), choreography by Hofesh Shechter. National Tour. Fisher Theatre (Detroit, Michigan), March 20, 2020.
Cage Shuffle (2017), by Paul Lazar. Big Dance Theatre. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, March 30 and 31st, 2020; Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, Tennessee), Spring 2020; La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Winter/Spring 2021.
BOAT (2020), Whale (2015), choreography by Andrea Miller. GALLIM. BAM Fisher, April 2-5, 2020.
Deep Blue Sea (2020), choreography by Bill T. Jones. Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Park Avenue Armory, April 13, 2020.
*Revived September 28, 2021
Sea (2021), choreography by Miro Magloire. New Chamber Ballet. City Center, April 17-18, 2020.
Night Journey (1947), by Martha Graham. Martha Graham Dance Company. City Center, April 23, 25, 2020.
Chronicle (1936), by Martha Graham. Martha Graham Dance Company. City Center, April 24, 2020.
Excerpts from Concerto Barocco (1941) ®, choreography by George Balanchine. New York City Ballet. City Center, May 20, 21, 23, 2020. © School of American Ballet.
Satyric Festival Song (1932), by Martha Graham. Martha Graham Dance Company. Martha Graham Studio Theater, June 4-7, 2020.
Diversion of Angels (1948), by Martha Graham. Martha Graham Dance Company.
Silicon Valley Festival, Hammer Theatre Center (San Jose, California), June 26-27, 2020.
Chaconne (1946), choreography by José Limón. No confirmed venue, Summer 2020.
Excerpts from Raymonda Variations (1961) ®, choreography by George Balanchine. New York City Ballet. City Center, October 8, 10, 15, 15, 2020. © The George Balanchine Trust
Excerpts from The Nutcracker (1954) ®, choreography by George Balanchine. New York City Ballet. City Center, November 27, 2020-January 3, 2021. © The George Balanchine Trust
Opulence (2019), by Jodi Melnick. The Joyce Theater, Summer 2021.
Untitled (2020), by Jodi Melnick. Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, Massachusetts), Summer 2021.
About Madeline Hollander:
Initially trained as a ballet dancer, Madeline Hollander (b. Los Angeles, 1986) studied cultural anthropology and visual arts at Barnard College (BA) and Bard College (MFA). Hollander has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (2021); the Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin (2021); Bortolami Gallery, New York (2021); The Artist’s Institute, New York (2018); Bosse and Baum, London, UK (2017); and SIGNAL, Brooklyn, NY (2016). Her work has been featured in the Whitney Biennial curated by Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta (2019), Helsinki Contemporary, Finland (2019), the Work Marathon Festival at the Serpentine Galleries in London (2018), and Centre Pompidou Metz, France (2019). In October, October, 2021, she presented a new commission for BMW Open Work, Frieze London. As a choreographer, Hollander has collaborated with Jordan Peele on his feature film ““Us”” (2019) and Urs Fisher’s immersive installation ““PLAY”” at Gagosian, New York (2019) and Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, CA (2019). She recently choreographed her first ballet, “5 Live Calibrations,” for Los Angeles Dance Project in Los Angeles, that premiered at the Theatre Champs-Elysees, Paris, the Louvre, Abu Dhabi, and in Los Angeles, and in Los Angeles.
Curated by Charles Aubin and produced by Sasha Okshteyn with Mariana Fernández
Leah Ives is a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
Amanda Kmett'Pendry is a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company.
Lauren Newman is a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Olivia Boisson is a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet.
Antuan Byers is a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Misha Culver is a dancer at Graham 2.
Alexa De Barr is a dancer in the Broadway production of West Side Story.
Eloise DeLuca is part of the ensemble in the First National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
Megan Foley is a member of New Chamber Ballet.
Satori Folkes-Stone is a dancer in the Broadway production of West Side Story.
Michael Greenberg is part of the ensemble in the First National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
Ashley Hill is a member of GALLIM.
Paul Lazar is an actor, theater director, and the co-founder of Big Dance Theater.
Megan LeCrone is a soloist at New York City Ballet.
Meghan Manning is a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
Sara Mearns is a principal dancer at New York City Ballet.
Jodi Melnick is a choreographer, collaborator, dancer, and teacher.
Miriam Miller is a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet.
Nando Morland is part of the ensemble in the First National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof.
Rachele Perla is a member of New Chamber Ballet.
Sara Procopio is a dance artist and arts manager at Big Dance Theater.
Frances Samson is a member of the Limón Dance Company.
Savannah Spratt is a member of the Limón Dance Company.
Kevin Zambrano is a dancer in the Broadway production of West Side Story.
Huiwang Zhang is a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Senior Producer & Manager of Media Initiatives: Sasha Okshteyn
Performa 2021 Biennial Fellow: Mariana Fernández
Technical Producer/Sound Designer: Garth MacAleavey
Composer: Celia Hollander
Lighting Designer: Andrew Giugno
Original Garment Design: Anna-Sophie Berger
Costume Fabricator: Camilla Carper
Stage Manager: Caitlin Adams
Lighting Technician: Jules Fosforo
Audio Technician: Sharif Mekawy, Jack McGuire
Production Assistants: Justin Germek, Austin Brown
Technical Production: Crossfire
Review by Madeline Hollander is supported by Toby Devan Lewis, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sarah Arison, Melony and Adam Lewis, Yana Peel, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, the Fleischner Family Charitable Foundation, and Bortolami Gallery.
Special thanks to NYC Parks, Anthony Sama, Jamil Phillips, Hamilton Fish Pool staff, Father Thomas and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Stefania Bortolami, Loreta Lamargese, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Wendy Whelan, Jon Stafford, Nicole Cornell, Janet Eilber, Bill T. Jones, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
The artist would also like to thank Sasha Okshteyn, Charles Aubin, RoseLee Goldberg, Anna-Sophie Berger, Celia Hollander, Sam Parker, Lauren Newman, Leah Ives, Amanda Kmett'Pendry for their endless support and commitment to making Review possible.
The land on which the Performa 2021 Biennial takes place is part of the ancestral homelands of the Lenape peoples, the Indigenous peoples of this land. Performa acknowledges the continued displacement of Indigenous peoples and pays respect to the Lenape peoples’ past, present, and future in their homelands and throughout the Lenape diaspora.