Saturday, October 10, 2015

LAST CHANCE: Watch out for ponydance!

Ireland's ponydance in action
at Abrons Arts Center
(below: Neil O'Brien lifting Leonie McDonagh)
Photos: Amanda Gentile

If the desperation and mayhem of a typical night out on the Lower East Side doesn't faze you, you should really, really, really like ponydance. And you won't even miss your chance to score a drink. You can get a free one right in the performance space and sip as you watch. What could be more convenient?

The intrepid comedy dance troupe, hailing from Ireland and Northern Ireland, wraps up its run of Anybody Waitin'?  tonight at Abrons Arts Center. With a quirky arrangement of seating, ponydance has made an already small space even moreso by allowing performers a mere melon slice of room to romp in and putting the audience well within reach of kicking feet, hurling bodies and smeary lipstick. That's right, but I'm not going to tell you to sit in the back. What would be the fun of that?

You can't run. You can't hide. But you can tuck your feet in and tilt out of the way.

With a comic and choreographic aesthetic that sweatily embraces dance competitions, music videos, speed dating and pole dancing, Anybody Waitin'?  is certainly not waitin' around for Godot or anybody else. I can scarcely imagine a more proactive bunch of artists or characters, and their approach to audience engagement is more like audience forced marriage. Seriously. Have that drink.

Leonie McDonagh, Paula O'Reilly--Google Images thinks she resembles Paula Deen!--Duane Watters and Neil O'Brien dance their wildly-costumed, skit-like duets and coordinated routines like demons. Tight and with superhuman energy and edge. They are intensely funny.

The show--curated by Laurie Uprichard and co-presented with Irish Arts Center--runs roughly an hour, give or take a few audience-inspired antics I'll leave to your anticipation. Anybody Waitin'? concludes with two performances tonight: 6pm and 9pm. Click here for information and tickets.

Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street (between Pitt and Willett Streets), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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