ADF Review: In Beth Gill's Brand New Sidewalk, Clothes Become Otherworldly Architecture | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Thursday, July 6, 2017

ADF Review: In Beth Gill's Brand New Sidewalk, Clothes Become Otherworldly Architecture

Posted by on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:26 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRIAN ROGERS
  • photo by Brian Rogers
Beth Gill: Brand New Sidewalk
★★★
Wednesday, June 28
Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham

Beth Gill creates choreographic moments that slip away from easy categorization. She’s known for minimalist structures that foreground form; her dances resemble moving sculptures. She won a prestigious Bessie Award for her 2011 work, Electric Midwife, a piece performed by two trios of women who mirror one another’s movements, creating a symmetrical image.

Gill's ADF-commissioned Brand New Sidewalk also plays with threes. The triptych begins with Danielle Goldman, alone onstage and seriously bundled. The dance proceeds as Goldman gradually removes layers of wintry clothing. (Frequent collaborator Baille Younkman designed the striking costumes, and what the dancers do with them is work’s centerpiece.) As Goldman discards a layer or reincorporates it into her outfit, she’ll pause, stretching a shirt over her head like an archer or crowding her legs under a blue cloth. Her manipulation of the clothing creates weird architecture, bulbous and otherworldly.

Between each of the work’s three sections, there are long pauses in which the curtain closes and the score, composed by Jon Moniaci and performed by members of Brooklyn’s TILT Brass, swells, sometimes too loudly. When Kevin Boateng and Joyce Edwards enter after Goldman’s solo, the stage has changed; an outlined square on the floor and scrim are submerged in a greenish-blue light. They wear identical white hooded tunics and pants. I thought of Samuel Beckett’s television play, Quad, in which four cloaked performers walk the perimeters and diagonals of a square, minding their own pathways.

Boateng and Edwards mind their own movements, too, but they move, impressively, in almost perfect synchronicity. Late in their duet, between the catch-steps, skips, and slides, they remove their hoods. Brand New Sidewalk is a dance of endless reveal. In the final solo, Maggie Cloud, wrapped in pieces of off-white and sand-colored netting, travels the stage in miniscule lunges. As soon as she begins moving, tufts of her costume float away. Toward the end, Cloud has removed her headpiece, like Boateng and Edwards. The warm stage lights dim and a spotlight stalls her at the front of the stage, like a moth hugging a light bulb.

Any of these unveilings could be a natural endpoint, but Gill’s dancers press on, moving with intentions we can’t quite discern. For the duration of this dance, we’re immersed in their worlds; we watch as they approach their own abstractions. Their internal energy is what pulses and remains: when Cloud moves away from the front, she pokes, grabs, and fidgets along stage left, as if removing fixtures from an invisible wall.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Comments

I certainly heard the accents.

by Elizabeth A Margolis on Theater Review: The South Is Hard to Hear in the Opera Version of Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (Arts)

Nice write up. Love the twists and turns and I hardily agree with the ultimate statement (and Camus since I …

by Perry on As the Durham Bulls Enter the Playoffs, We Wonder: What Exactly Is the Value of a Minor-League Championship? (Arts)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I certainly heard the accents.

by Elizabeth A Margolis on Theater Review: The South Is Hard to Hear in the Opera Version of Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (Arts)

Nice write up. Love the twists and turns and I hardily agree with the ultimate statement (and Camus since I …

by Perry on As the Durham Bulls Enter the Playoffs, We Wonder: What Exactly Is the Value of a Minor-League Championship? (Arts)

Just saw this last night. Did Rubin say that being around the Avetts would make life "matter" or just that …

by Drew Rhys on Full Frame: An Avetts Agnostic Finds Some Faith in May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (Arts)

She made me a peanut butter and banana sandwichwithout bread. Now that's art.

by Geoff Dunkak on ADF Review: Queering Objects and Decoding the Body in Cherdonna's Clock that Mug or Dusted (Arts)

Maybe the lack of young people in attendance is partly because of the way the NC Gay and Lesbian Film …

by Jonathan H on A Twenty-One-Year-Old Finds a Welcoming Space at the Twenty-Two-Year-Old N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Arts)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation