Doug Varone and Dancers — Program B

Joyce Theater, New York City, Oct. 26, 2006

A Review

Doug Varone doesn’t want me to stop smoking, hate war, or condemn bigotry. (Maybe he does, but he doesn’t throw it at me from the stage.) He just wants me to sit up and pay attention. I did.

From the sweeping lyricism of Possession (1994) through the spare designs of The Bench Quartet, I (1986) to the broad comedy of Bel Canto (1988) to the looming darkness of Boats Leaving (2006), I was emmersed in dance and not once did I have to go to my forebrain to try to figure it all out.

What an eye Doug has! I am left with what seems to be a parade of group stasis, each impelling me to soak in his design. What a thirst for motion! From the swoop of Possession through the chrispness of Bench to the speed in Bel Canto through the strained partnering in Boats Leaving, the motion impels me to twitch in my seat. He holds stillness till one bursts through the tension into higher motion.

It’s been too long since I have had such a great theater evening. Now I know why I have spent 65 years with dance. And I want more.

—Ruth Grauert, Oct. 26, 2006