Pam Tanowitz is a choreographer of conflicted interests. “When I talk about narrative and non-narrative, I feel like I want it both ways,” she said in an interview with the Joyce Theater in 2013. She cites George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham as her two greatest influences, artists whose methods and techniques lie at opposite poles of virtually every spectrum. She comes from a background in contemporary (and mostly Cunningham) style, but says that she enjoys working in ballet. This interest has sometimes gone awry. In 2012 she presented the stuffy “Untitled (Blue Ballet)” at the Kitchen, with a cast drawn from American Ballet Theatre. She publicly acknowledged that the work was a failure, and went back to the drawing board with bare feet and less rules. “I’m trying to make the issues I['ve] had worth it,” she said.
Pam Tanowitz's “Broken Story (wherein there is no ecstasy)” at the Guggenheim. Photograph by Christopher Duggan
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading