Tere O’Connor: Baby

Dance Theater Workshop, New York City
March 22–April 1, 2006

A Review

“A rose is a rose is a rose.” And a horse is a horse is a horse except when it isn’t. I thought that the dancer was flying a box kite until sound track and dialogue told me otherwise. He was leading a horse!! (The program does not identify any of the performers. Is this a part of the “Message”?) It would seem that some experience by way of horses would have made this dancer’s miming more precise. He is a good mover (all the dancers are), and he presented some good motion material.

Motion material... I sit up; this may be something. Then all of a sudden I am treated to an arabesque or attitude. And then, aha!! A pelethra of Graham triplets, but well used to portray running horses, giving us many moments of good motion promise for the most part only partially fulfilled.

What was that sign of warning in the loby? “Program contains adult content.” Or some such clumbsy notice. Adult? Certainly if handling parts and licking arms is adult. I found the brief adult actions gratuitious and slightly nauseating and can’t for the life of me excuse its inclusion except as a titillation for adult adolescents. Graham’s “adult content” was always in keeping with the narrative and although some of it made one “sweat,” it was never gratuitous nor offensive. Of course, narrative is the furtherest thing from neo-choreographers’ addenda. Stream of consciousness is in.

Deflowering is usually said to be a matter of a single poke. However, I presume the lengthy tearing down of virgin white drapery with great anguish represented such, as it has no other raison d’être. For me the act was a moment and, as I remember, quite pleasant. What was the red icon down left? We discussed it on the way home. Since the title of the evening was “Baby,” perhaps it was a birth canal. And then that ever-present BIG RED BOW that dominated our vision. It didn’t do nuthing.

The stream of consciousness offered to us for our consumption is not boring. It bounces us around with motion and narrative and loud sound effects and some interesting music. I am not sure what the sum of it is, but then perhaps I am not suppose to know. Profound or inconsequential? A rose IS a rose.

Ruth Grauert, March 29, 2006