A History — Bebe Miller Company

Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts
Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
April 12–13, 2013

A Review

A History examines the impact of Miller's last decade of work. Featuring veteran Bebe Miller Company dancers Angie Hauser and Darrell Jones both live and virtually, the program aims “to create a dynamic theater-based performance and archaeological inquiry.”  —Time Out

Angie Hauser and Darrell Jones

The set: center stage right a rear projection screen hangs. A table and two chairs are upstage of the screen. A scrim covers the stage left side. The screen is used at intervals to project exerpts from dances. At various times during performance the table and chairs are moved to center stage left, to down stage right.

The dance begins: Darrell Jones enters from behind the screen; Angie Hauser is seen sitting behind the scrim. Both dance and dance and dance. They are liquid movers, secure in their presentation, comfortable with each other’s movement, taking the audience with them on their journey through past dances.

The audience is at ease, too much at ease. The dynamics seem never to change. There seems never to be the cacaphany of pounding nor the silence of non-motion. This is an ongoing flow of movement that goes and goes and goes, pulling the table from place to place, moving together, moving apart, standing, sitting, lying, its goes and goes and goes. I do not remember silence or shout.

Is this the statement? History is a river on which you float? It takes you on a dream-time journey, lifts you, cradles you, and sends you forth? I have loved Bebe since she was three years old. I have seen most of her adult works. I recall impossible minutes of constant jiggle, of impossible postures held to the breaking point, wonderful heights of “daring to do.” However, as a work of art in itself A History could stand the dancers recalling some of these moments. Perhaps Angie and Darrell don’t. Salt makes the sweet sweeter.

I really had a ball, but I wished for more variation in tempo. I was suspended in glorious (almost contact improv-like) “skirmishing.” I recall from seeing Bebe’s concerts over the years (I think it was Angie) standing on her head forever, and Darrell shaking forever. Movement sequences such as these could have varied the dynamics of this program.

—Ruth Grauert, April 13, 2013