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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daze of love at Dixon Place

With the hectic spring dance and performance season, I'm able to only dip into the X-YU Festival, a co-presentation of WaxFactory, Dixon Place and Dance New Amsterdam.  Curated by WaxFactory's Ivan Talijancic, the festival showcases new performance works by artists of the former Yugoslav republics. Shows are running, in a rather packed schedule, through June 3 at Dixon Place. Each show will set you back only about an hour.

Just a few words, then, on Ways of Love, a multimedia presentation created and performed by Slovenia's Maja Delak and Luka Prinčič. From a few things I've seen at Dixon Place in recent months, I'd say DP is already ground zero for edgy, festishistic eroticism in contemporary performance. At first, this pair spent a lot of time going there, and that was about as remarkable as the academic word salad in their poster-sized brochure, which I hope was meant to be a goof. It was also goofy to watch lots and lots of donning and doffing of clothes to no apparent point--except, perhaps, to suggest a kind of time-lapse passage in which many things have happened that we cannot see. There are hints, throughout, of human vulnerability; as it turns out, the vignettes of love are not all a total yawn. The completely brilliant selection, interpretation and manhandling of standards and pop songs earn respect, and Delak proves to be an absorbing performer with dramatic range, stamina and grit. Ways of Love is intense, saturated, obnoxious and, literally, hard to get rid of. It outstays its welcome. So, when it gets too clingy, just do what the opening night audience did and applaud it away.

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