Juliana May’s “Family Happiness” at Abrons Arts Center at times feels like a punishing exercise.
Kathy Westwater’s dances at the Chocolate Factory, “Revolver” and “Choreomaniacs,” build on her focused movement investigations of the last 20 years.
Ivy Baldwin’s defiant and poignant work for four dancers at the Chocolate Factory Theater is the outcome of deeply considered collaboration.
Two writers wade into the hazy environment of David Thomson’s new work to grapple with opacity and transparency, the magical and mundane. Where one sees an M, the other sees a W, yet both come away with a sense of intimacy in the unknown.
At the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City, Queens, the Institute of Useless Activity’s “This and That” is also experimental, but it occupies the other end of the overload spectrum. Its medium is light and shadow.
Meanwhile, at the Chocolate Factory, a former machine shop in Long Island City, there’s a show that Witkacy would have loved. “This and That” is chock-full of pure forms being manipulated and juxtaposed. Staged amid a mess of equipment and projectors and lights on stands, it has the feeling of a demonstration hour, a sharing among friends. It is free of psychology and dialogue, at least in the conventional sense, a bare hour of “choreography” made just from light and shadow.
Handwriting beneath squares of painted color gradients hang in the gallery. Not yet alive in the lungs, the mouth. Quite a few pages. When language fails, we body forth. Who is we? Audience, dancers, author? Authors? A catalogue of poses, alphabet, reminiscent of uncountable things, references, symbols. Digression. Imaginary plot: place bodies beside bodies and add chairs, fabric, paper, glass bottles, bricks. Turn the page.
The choreographer Donna Uchizono presents “Wings of Iron,” a subtle, virtuosic exploration of the art of perseverance.
Luciana Achugar presents the premiere of “Puro Teatro: A Spell for Utopia” at the new, improved Chocolate Factory, but its pleasures feel one-sided.
Aya Ogawa’s gentle, forthright reckoning of a play is a belated processing of the loss of a parent by a daughter who now has children of her own.