Paul Taylor's "Death and the Damsel," one of two premieres during his season at Lincoln Center has been labeled by many critics as a piece about sex-trafficking. There's one scene in particular in which the ingénue (Jamie Rae Walker) is passed between the hands of leather-wearing men, all of them forcing her into the same compromising position. Each throws her over his shoulder before straddling her to the ground and parting her legs in order to look at the crotch between. There's no touching involved, but this restraint almost makes it seem even more unfeeling and inhumane. I've never seen such an explicit portrayal of the violence intrinsic to the male gaze onstage.
Jamie Rae Walker and Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance perform “Death and the Damsel.” Photograph by Paul B. Goode
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading