The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Review: A choreographer stakes an independent claim
From left, Eddieomar Gonzalez-Castillo, Robert Rubama and Benjamin Holliday Wardell perform in Alejandro Cerrudo’s “It Starts Now," in New York on Sept. 28, 2021. Cerrudo’s “It Starts Now” gets its underwhelming debut at the Joyce Theater. Julieta Cervantes/The New York Times.

by Brian Seibert

NEW YORK, NY.- As you take your seat for Alejandro Cerrudo’s “It Starts Now,” the stage is already set, half covered with a partially unrolled mat. The show, which had its debut at the Joyce Theater on Tuesday, commences with the mat unrolling to reveal a hidden dancer. It finishes, about an hour later, with that dancer rolled up again, as if we were back at the beginning and the performers were ready for another crowd to file in.

The intervening time is chopped up into many small sections, accompanied by a miscellany of electronic, ambient and film-score tracks, including the sound of a purring cat and the final speech from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” There are many blackouts, many dim episodes with hand-held lights, many hats, many dancers being dragged by other dancers, many times when a dancer’s clothing gives off smoke, as if smoldering.

But these are empty calories. By the time “It Starts Now” seems about to start again — that is, when it’s over — you might feel that nothing has really started, or that you could have stayed home and just watched its sizzle reel.

The title is in part an announcement. This is the first independent show for Cerrudo, who was long the resident choreographer for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and has served in that role for Pacific Northwest Ballet since 2020. For this show, produced by him and the Joyce, he has assembled a pickup company of eight lithe and skilled freelance dancers.

His default style is a rippling, serpentine flow, and his comfort zone appears to be the kind of duet in which two people tangle into a knot that never finishes tightening. There are many of these duets in “It Starts Now,” and they are the best parts, inventive and tender if also a bit sappy and soporific.

But Cerrudo is clearly trying to say something about time and “the now” — how it can contract and stretch, how live dance can make us feel the evanescent preciousness of the present. And the theme gets away from him or resonates unflatteringly. Some of the lighting and theatrical effects (by Michael Korsch) are arresting (especially the smoking costumes), but only briefly. They flash as weaker reflections of ideas better executed in the work of Crystal Pite, among others.

Cerrudo’s sensibility is much warmer than Pite’s, and the Chaplin speech (with its anti-fascist exhortation in favor of kindness and universal brotherhood) could be the heart of “It Starts Now.” Yet what dancer Daniel Rae Srivastava acts out has little relation to the words.

The next section, with Srivastava in his underwear, faintly illuminated by more hand-held lights, might represent rebirth, a New Man. Yet the rest of the work reverts to more tangling duets, hats, dragging, smoldering and the cat sound. Before it goes back to the start, it gets worse.

'It Starts Now'

Through Sunday at the Joyce Theater, Manhattan;

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

October 1, 2021

Symbolism Represented in Antique Caucasian Rugs (Part 3)

The Cleveland Museum of Art announces new acquisitions

Met Museum to return ancient sculpture to Nepal

Hindman sets new world auction record for Martin Wong work, selling for $1.1 million

Yale says its Vinland Map, once called a Medieval treasure, is fake

Auction Technology Group to complete acquisition of LiveAuctioneers

Amicable solution for restitution claim: Ketterer Kunst to offer Emil Nolde painting with notable provenance

Elvis vs. Lenin: A superpower confrontation on canvas

Christie's Classic Week features 5 live and 3 online auctions

New major artwork by renowned artist Conrad Shawcross launches in Ramsgate

Minnesota Street Project announces arts leader, Madison Cario as CEO

Milestone's Oct. 2 Toy Spectacular a feast of European & American antique toys

Phoenix Art Museum receives $4 million grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Christie's eyes $2 mln for Wallis Simpson bangle at auction

Thought-provoking installation unveiled at City Hall, Jersey City

Review: A choreographer stakes an independent claim

Positive coronavirus cases halt 'Aladdin' a day after it reopened

Lonnie Smith, soulful jazz organist, is dead at 79

After a choreographer's suicide, ballet confronts tough questions

After a Met Opera Milestone, 'Boris' brings another

In Paris, it's literary scandal season again

Laumeier Sculpture Park explores remembrance, connection, and strength of community in new exhibition

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens in Los Angeles

Review: Bill T. Jones' oceanic vision

How You Can Keep Your Washing Machine Well Maintained

Make the Right Health Insurance Choice For You and Your Family in Switzerland

Pop Culture and the Fan Art Phenomenon

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful