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 Post subject: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 155
STEPHEN PETRONIO COMPANY (USA)

WHAT: BROKEN MAN / CITY OF TWIST / THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS (WORLD PREMIERE)

WHEN: SAT 18 – SUN 19 OCT

WHERE: QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL

TICKETS: 020 7960 4242

"Petronio makes dance that shimmers with the intricacies of life", Elle

click here for details


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 107
Location: London, England
Stephen Petronio Company
18 & 19 Oct 2003
Queen Elizabeth Hall

If you want to fill the Queen Elizabeth Hall, bring in the big names. Choreographer Stephen Petronio guaranteed bums on seats thanks to a collaboration with artist Cindy Sherman and musical legend Lou Reed. Three artistic forces to be reckoned with, but would such a strong brew leave a bitter taste? In fact, rather than blowing away the senses, the world premiere of The Island of Misfit Toys made a rather weak impression.

From the imagination of our poet/dreamer Petronio, the cast of misfit toys spring forth. Slightly slutty girls in ill-fitting doll's dresses - ostracised from the toy box no doubt - dance with boys in patterned pyjamas. A fantasy from our choreographer's youth perhaps?

They spin through the poet's imagination, all swivel joints and scissor slices, without quite falling into that stiff mechanical toy parody. While the dancers are well-oiled there's not really anything very innovative going on here. It's a faceless world, made mostly of ensemble dancing without character or cameraderie.

In the artistic sphere it's inevitable that those who were once misfits ultimately become establishment, and this has been evident during the 25th anniversary celebrations at Dance Umbrella. The same goes for musicians like Lou Reed. Once an edgy outsider, now his songs are used on adverts for the BBC, and when the hits kick in we're on familiar territory. Nevertheless, excerpts from the grating Metal Machine Music and some spoken texts show that Reed isn't stuck in the past.

Cindy Sherman's contribution is a couple of overgrown mutant dolls and a backdrop of babies' faces, playing on that horror film subversion of the sweet into the sinister. Again, it's nothing new.

I preferred the final piece, City of Twist, made last year with another legendary composer, Laurie Anderson. Anderson's music is instrumental (excuse the pun) in creating this mournful, atmospheric cityscape. Our characters are loners, all connected by their attraction to the bright lights, but unlike the misfit toys, each is given a solo in the spotlight to lay out their own existence.

Again, the idea of the lonliness of urban life in hardly revelatory but it is effectively portrayed - the tension, the expectation, the anger, the glitter and the superficiality.

Dramatic lighting from Ken Tabachnick puts stars in the sky as our cast dance out the early hours on a New York rooftop then conjures up skyscrapers behind a lone woman in white. The beautiful despair of our tragic femme fatale is typical of Petronio's theatrical sensibilities. He also has a penchant for men in pants. While the girls get black glittery numbers, the men sport shiny thighs and bulging white briefs. It's an indulgent piece of dance making in many respects, but an evocative one nonetheless.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Times.

Quote:
THE most appealing thing about Stephen Petronio’s choreography has always been its raw New York energy. Almost more than any other US choreographer whose work we regularly see over here, Petronio taps into the mania of the downtown New York scene. All-night parties, tramps in doorways, dirty needles, the young and the beautiful, the defeated and the desperate: his frenetic choreography seems to encompass them all.
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And from The Guardian.

Quote:
All the elements in Stephen Petronio's Island of Misfit Toys conspire to create a seductively creepy piece of American Gothic. Cindy Sherman's set takes its appalling inspiration from the Victorian toybox. Three giant dolls loll at the front of the stage (one with its face broken off, the others joined at the hip) while a line of decapitated dolls' heads grin blindly from the back wall. The score, assembled from Lou Reed's song catalogue, begins with his setting of The Raven, which is a cue for Petronio to sit upstage smoking maniacally as he watches his own invention unroll.
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<small>[ 22 October 2003, 04:40 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Telegraph.

Quote:
September 11, 2001 may prove as catalytic an event for American modern dance as Hiroshima for Japanese butoh or the Berlin Wall for German tanztheater. But audiences will also find their own eyes changed.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Urban Detour
As Dance Umbrella celebrates its 25th year with five weeks of
stellar performances, New York dance legend Stephen Petronio, an
Umbrella favorite, talks to DONALD HUTERA about his collaborations
with Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and Cindy Sherman.

Dance Umbrella, Britain’s biggest and longest-standing dance festival, is a
quarter-century young this autumn. To mark the anniversary, Artistic Director Val Bourne is pulling out all the stops at venues across London. Although the South Bank Centre is involved in just one of the festival’s five weeks, it’s bagged some of the festival’s best performances for the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The festival line-up includes world premieres by Dance Umbrella regulars Stephen Petronio and Russell Maliphant, plus Silver Celebration – a unique retrospective event that places talent from both sides of the Big Pond in a collective spotlight. performed in the very first Umbrella in 1978) and long-time New York couple David Gordon and Valda Setterfield. Another Manhattanite, Stephen Petronio, is an undisputed Umbrella favourite.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Petronio Company
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2003 3:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Stephen Petronio Company, Queen Elizabeth Hall
By Jann Parry for The Observer

....Stephen Petronio, offers a wilder portrait of the city's inhabitants, living with their nightmares. City of Twist (2002), to mournful musings by Laurie Anderson, shows urban loners exorcising their demons. Though each solo or duet is vividly accomplished, the string of numbers seems arbitrary.

Not so the tightly knit sequences in The Island of Misfit Toys, given its premiere last weekend. Dangerous and deviant family rituals start with Lou Reed's setting of Poe's The Raven, read by Willem Dafoe.

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********************************

The Stephen Petronio Company
By David Dougill for The Sunday Times

The Stephen Petronio Company from New York made its latest Umbrella visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a programme in Petronio’s punchy, sharp-edged style, which got rather wearing before the end. The world premiere piece, The Island of Misfit Toys, set to text and music by Lou Reed, is a kind of gothic fantasy — “little dark nursery rhymes” as the choreographer puts it — with a decor of grotesque doll faces by Cindy Sherman and the dancers in kids’ pyjamas or cutie-girl dresses.

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