Top 9 of 2009: Remembering Dance, Theater...and Kanye

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's that time of year again: my top nine of 2009, in honor of the last of the single digit years that many of us will ever see. The good, the bad, the inane.

1. Most Asinine Essay: Many candidates here. I probably contributed several myself. But the winner goes to Michael Kaiser's misguided, out-of-touch Huff Post lament, Why I Worry About Modern Dance.

2. Best Theatrical Experience: Target Margin Theater's production of Gertrude Stein's A Family of Perhaps Three. It also prompted one of my favorite P. Club comments. Thanks, Chance: "I am always loving Gertie Stein yes always and further loving the word the word is spoken and I think Stein was doing it and speaking of the now yes always now now. I am always loving Gertie Stein yes always and further loving the word the word is spoken and I think Stein was doing it and speaking of the now yes always now now."

3. Worst Loss: Merce Cunningham

4. Best Exit Strategy: Merce is dead; long live his dances

5. Best Impersonation of a Soap Opera by a Real Opera: Or should it read best impersonation of a real opera by a soap opera? In any case, as if there were any doubt: New York City Opera!

6. Most Desperately I Have Ever Wanted Off a Bus: The Foundry Theater's "Provenance of Beauty."

7. Most Ecstatically High-Level Season: Carla Peterson's Dance Theater Workshop lineup has been revelatory. And it's only half finished.

8. Most amusing performance artist-celebrity confrontation: Getting into P.S. 122 to see "Why Won't You Let Me Be Great!!!." Watching Kanye West's face while he watched Ann Liv Young smear raw pork on her nether regions (after insulting his album) because that's what Love Lockdown made her feel like? Priceless. (Perhaps I'm biased here, as Ms. Young later in the show's run stuffed a makeup bottle up those same regions as, er, a tribute to my critical faculties. But still.)

9. Best Anniversary: Ours! The P. Club is now officially one year old. Who woulda thunk?


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Comments [2]


And thanks for your list, too, Evan. I'm honored by the mention!:

I'm also excited for American Realness - what a great lineup:

Dec. 31 2009 12:26 PM

Thanks for sharing, Claudia. I love reading the various "top performances of '09 " lists that are all over the arts blogosphere. Glad that I got to witness "Why Won't You Let Me Be Great!!!", even though Kanye wasn't there the night I attended.

Also, the press release for the upcoming American Realness festival quotes Kaiser's article that you mention and seems to be a direct response to his concerns about a lack of a next generation of modern dance. Looking forward to seeing some of those performances.

Dec. 29 2009 10:05 AM

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About Performance Club

Open to everyone, the Performance Club is a freewheeling conversation about New York performance of all kinds, from experimental theater to gallery installations to contemporary dance. We go, we talk (online and at bars and cafes, with artists and amongst ourselves), we disagree and, sometimes, we change each other’s minds.


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