offoffoff dance



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Dance section
  • Dance main page
  • Dance archive

    Current dance

  • 277DanceProject: This is Heaven to Me
  • A.W.A.R.D. Stars
  • Aaron McGloin: Lamina
  • Aaron McGloin: Native
  • Akiko Furukawa: Room 702
  • Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel]
  • Anchors and Ties
  • Antonio Ramos: Almodovar Dystopia
  • Aretha Aoki and Benjamin Kimitch
  • BAADass Women Festival
  • Banana Peel Dance: Dinner Party
  • The Barnard Project 2010
  • Batsheva: Hora
  • Belinda McGuire
  • Bennyroyce Royon: Chronos Project
  • Bloom: City
  • Body Collider: Bare Knuckle High Fashion
  • Brian Brooks
  • Brian Brooks Moving Company 2012
  • Bryn Cohn: Skin
  • Burr Johnson
  • Chavasse Dance and Performance
  • Chris Schlichting: Stripetease
  • ChristinaNoel and the Creature
  • Chunky Move: Faker
  • Chunky Move: Mortal Engine
  • Cool NY 2011
  • Cool NY 2012
  • Current Sessions: 03Savings
  • The Current Sessions: Volume 1
  • Da-on Dance: Thirst
  • Dance Apocalypse: Solos
  • Dance Gallery 2013
  • Dance Gallery 2015
  • Dance Gallery Festival
  • Dance Gallery Festival 2012
  • Dance Now 2015
  • Dance Sampler 2
  • DanceNow 2011
  • DanceNow 2011 Two
  • Dancenow 2012
  • DanceNow 2013
  • DanceNow 2014
  • DanceNow 2016
  • DanceNow 2017
  • DanceNow 2018
  • Daniel Gwirtzman: The Oracle
  • DaOn Dance: Root
  • David Appel and Daniela Hoff: Take Root
  • The Dinner Party: A Whodunnit Cabaret
  • Donnell Oakley: Sure
  • DorothyAnnieMaria
  • Doug Varone and Dancers 2017
  • Dumbo Dance 2010
  • Dumbo Dance 2011
  • Dumbo Dance Festival 2012
  • Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming
  • Faye Driscoll: There is so much mad in me
  • Faye Driscoll: You r Me
  • Festival Twenty Ten
  • Festival Twenty Ten Too
  • FLICfest 2012
  • FLICfest 2013
  • Fresh Tracks 2010
  • Fresh Tracks 2011
  • Gallim: Sit, Kneel, Stand
  • Gerald Casel: Fluster and Plot
  • Gotham Dance Sampler 1
  • Green Space:
    Take Root

  • Gwen Gussman: Nourishment
  • HATCHed WAX: two to view
  • Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
  • Hilary Easton: The Constructors
  • Hurricane Party
  • Hyperbolic!
  • Jeanine Durning: To Being
  • Jenni Hong:
  • Jody Oberfelder: The Soldier's Tale
  • John Jasperse: Canyon
  • Jonah Bokaer: Rules of the Game
  • Jonathan Pratt
  • Julian Barnett: Sound Memory
  • Julie Bour: Why Now?
  • Katie Workum: Black Lakes
  • Katie Workum: Fruitlands
  • Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
  • Katy Orthwein and Aaron McGloin
  • Keigwin and Wolcott: Places Please
  • Keigwin+Company 2012
  • kerPlunk and Friends
  • Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters
  • Kota Yamazaki: Rays of Space
  • Kyle Abraham: Heartbreaks and Homies
  • Larry Keigwin: Exit
  • Lincoln Center Kenan Fellows
  • lmno3:BANGS
  • Lucy Guerin: Structure and Sadness
  • Lucy Guerin: Untrained
  • Magda and Chelsea: The Vulgar Early Works
  • Mari Meade and Companies
  • Mari Meade and Gierre Godley
  • Mari Meade and Teresa Fellion
  • Mari Meade: Not My Home
  • Mark Dendy: Labyrinth
  • Mark Dendy: NYny Astor Place
  • martha clarke: angel reapers
  • Martha Graham Company 2016
  • The Median Movement: JACK Rally
  • The Median Movement: X
  • Mei Yamanaka Works: Sunflower
  • Merce Cunningham
  • Miguel Gutierrez: And lose the name of action
  • Mina Nishimura
  • MokdessiWagner and Kawamura
  • Nathan Trice: Recognizing Women Project
  • Neta Dance: 2280 Pints!
  • newsteps 2013
  • newsteps 2014
  • Newsteps 2017
  • Newsteps 2018
  • Nicole Wolcott: 100 Beginnings
  • Nicole Wolcott: Paper Pieces
  • NLD: The Whiz
  • Only Human: Christine Bonansea
  • Ori Flomin: First Move
  • Oui Danse: French Amour
  • Patricia Noworol Dance: Circuits
  • Perforations Festival
  • Performance Mix 2013
  • Performance Mix 2017
  • Performance Mix Festival 2010
  • Performance Mix Festival 2018
  • Petronio 2012
  • Petronio: Underland
  • Pina Bausch: Vollmond
  • ponydance: Anybody Waitin?
  • The Principles of Uncertainty
  • Project RUIN
  • Purchase Company 2013
  • Ralph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
  • Raw Directions 2012
  • Raw Directions 2013
  • Relative Soul: Two Takes
  • Richard Move: Martha 1963
  • RoseAnne Spradlin: beginning of something
  • Sam Kim: Sister to a Fiend
  • Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic
  • Sarah Skaggs: Roving 911 Memorial
  • Shannon Gillen & Guests: Clap for the Wolfman
  • Shannon Gillen: A Colored Image of the Sun
  • Shen Wei Dance Arts
  • small apple co.
  • Splice: Japan
  • Stephen Petronio 2014
  • Stephen Petronio 2015
  • Stephen Petronio 2016
  • Stephen Petronio: LLD 430
  • Strange Love: Episode 5
  • Take Dance
  • Take Root: Mei Yamanaka and Angel Chinn
  • Tere OConnor: Bleed
  • TheCraft
  • This One Goes Out To You
  • Tiffany Mills Company
  • Tiffany Mills: After the Feast
  • Tiffany Mills: The Blue Room
  • Triskelion Collaborations
  • Two at Abrons
  • Two at Dixon Place
  • Tykulsker Cora
  • tykulskerdean
  • Valerie Green/Dance Entropy
  • Valerie Green: Impermanent Landscape
  • Walter Dundervill: Candy Mountain
  • Wave Rising 2011
  • William Forsythe at BAM
  • William Forsythe: Decreation
  • Women in Motion 2012
  • Wrought Iron Fog
  • Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier
  • Zvidance: Dabke+Coupling
  • ZviDance: Zoom


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2017-2018 reviews:


    Deja Donne

    Full frontal fantasy

    In a land beyond inhibition and restraint lies '"In Bella Copia", an effusive exploration of human desires by Deja Donne of the Czech Republic.


    Occupying a theater both public and private, Deja Donne's latest work, "In Bella Copia", puts on display a set of impossible expectations, impossible performances. Here, life is beautiful. The girls are beautiful· Even the light poles and the costume racks are beautiful. "I can't give you anything but love," they sing in herky-jerky chorus near the top of the show. But they can give more, and they can take more too. The honesty, possibility and danger of their more extreme give-and-takes are tested throughout the show.

    Choreography by: Lenka Flory and Simone Sandroni.
    Dancers: Jan Benes, Lea Capkova, Jiri Malek, Masakko Noguchi, Teodora Popova, Simone Sandroni and Ondrej Vajsar.

    Related links: Official site
    Dance Theater Workshop
    219 West 19th St.
    April 3-6, 2003

    'In Bella Copia,' translated as 'fair copy,' is a phrase meaning something like put your best foot forward — putting on display the most perfect and pleasing version of yourself. The piece asks, "What do you want to be?" and then permits that becoming. The dancers follow this idea primarily in terms of sexuality, but their transformations have echoes in other realms, not insignificantly reflecting on the context of theatrical performance, on expectations coming from either side of the light line.

    An MC (the frisky and wonderful Jan Benes) welcomes the audience repeatedly over the course of the show, employing the familiar MC's text from the Cabaret, with some small embellishments. "Willkomen, bienvenue, welcome· Welcome to the land of never-ending happiness. Tonight, we make the impossible possible· Set your imagination free·" What happens in the land of the free imagination? Inhibitions are the first to go. Hungers becomes cravings, become pixies, becomes weasels, become demons. Desire for one person easily translates to desire for another; it's the performance of desiring, it's the totality of wanting and the delirious self-awareness of permission that matters. Secret fantasies have come true. Egos loom large and aggressions stew.

    Deja Donne  
    Lea Capkova appears with Jiri Malek in a frame of light suggesting a wedding photograph, puts on a gorgeous orange dress and begins to indulge. The sequence begins with the undressing of Malek. Capkova's controlling excitement recalls a gremlin- preening, challenging, snarling, yelping with delight. She shoots a crazy tongue towards his chest. He shows his wares in a slightly confused mating dance. But he won't take off his underpants and the momentary disappointment is distracting. By the end of the section, she has gone from Malek to Masako Noguchi to a threesome with Ondrej Vajsar and Benes. "Kiss me," she demands, coaxing them into her fantasy. "Kiss me by the river." They carry her a foot forward.) "Kiss me by the waterfall." Another foot. "By the mountains." "By the fields." But it goes too far and she ends up distressed, extracting herself form the situation she created, revoking her permission, narrowly escaping something worse.

    All the elements that combine in this show have several lives and can be experienced theatrically or have metaphor extracted from them. (Though I think that the metaphors work precisely because the actual experience of each element in real time is so strong.) The lighting apparatus is the clearest example of this. Several movable lighting structures of various sizes make up the set. Like a high jump with lights hung from the bar, they create visual frames as well as obstructions. The dancers themselves manipulate the lights, wheeling them around, turning them on each other or focusing them away. Alternately tender and aggressive, these activities create the acts of being seen, of showing yourself, revealing someone else, interrogating, putting on the spot, encircling each other like animals, shedding light on the blossoming of each one's fantasy.

      Deja Donne
    Invariably the efflorescences are unbearable. Once the verdant fever of permission starts to spread, there's no button to shut it off and each finds out that they can't quite keep up with their fantasies as they turn savage. Weakness and tenderness do have a place in this game, after all.

    It's tenderness that most defines the ending, when Benes is chased up a pole by Vajsar and made to strip. He breaks down. In solidarity, the rest of the group takes off their clothes. Smiling and naked, they scoot back a little out of the light, sweetly comfortable in their precariousness. Noguchi holds the trump card, waiting until everyone else is undressed and then undoing her wig to reveal her real hair sprouting beneath in all its simplicity.

    There's nary a person in this group that you don't want to love by the end of it all. Perhaps it's the bravery of their exposure, but I left thinking that they just must be the kind of people I'd like to hang out with. Humane, not too slick or fashion-drenched, well-meaning, hard-working, kick-ass dancers.

    There is more than a simple duality here. Fantasy leads to more than the simple fact that you are not that cartoon of your imagined inner temptress. The performance works toward actual openness, actual revelation. When they end up naked, they really are. I think that the sincerity and humanity that underlies this work (and other work I've seen by this company) is defining. Their theater is a fluent hybrid of modes, languages, styles. But at the base it's really, really truthful. They took their initial premise to its full conclusion — sexy but also ugly and humbling — and were generous enough to put it on stage.

    APRIL 9, 2003

    Reader comments on Deja Donne:

  • in bella copia   from elena, Oct 1, 2005

  • Post a comment on "Deja Donne"