|Jack Ferver in I Want You To Want Me|
(photo: Paula Court)
|Jack Ferver, |
writer, choreographer, director
and rather terrifying star of
I Want You To Want Me,
running now at The Kitchen
I thought I would try to make something for everyone. You know, like ballet or a good subscription audience kind of play. I consider myself a populist, but some people really hate my work. They even hate me they hate my work so much. So I thought: ‘Well, why don’t I make a really pretty ballet or a play about a straight couple and their issues?’ So that’s what I’m going to do. Oh, I also just wanted to say, that not everyone is going to make it. I don’t mean make it to the show. I mean make it out of the show alive.
– Jack Ferver on I Want You To Want Me
To whom does ballet technique belong? Katy Pyle--with her intersectionally queer ballez--joyfully throws its age-old doors wide open to pretty much everyone. Jack Ferver, with his premiere of I Want You To Want Me, claims it for the camp camp with a mixture of love and sheer wickedness.
Presented by American Dance Institute/NYC at The Kitchen, this hour-long quartet samples classical technique and stagecraft--puffs of fake fog amusingly mist Reid Bartelme's authentic danseur noble stylings--combined with a wry plotline, all infused with enough melodrama to outdo the likes of Black Swan and Flesh and Bone. A wide-eyed American ballerina (Carling Talcott-Steenstra) quarrels with and ditches her boring, resentful boyfriend (Ferver) for opportunity in France and gets far more than she bargained for.
|Above: Carling Talcott-Steenstra |
partnered by Barton Cowperthwaite
below: Reid Bartelme
(photos: Paula Court)
There she meets the Ferver-embodied Madame M, an American expatriot so counterfeit in her new self-presentation that she can never decide whether to give words their English or French pronunciation. The role triggers every Ferver skill in speech, gesture, anguished vulnerability and killer stare while offering this fun performer a variety of classy, sultry looks in an adjustable, midnight black gown by Reid & Harriet Design (Bartelme and Harriet Jung).
The lovelorn and lusting Madame--equal parts Graham, Duncan, Liza Minelli, Bette Davis and Nosferatu--has a way of controlling her dancers (Bartelme and Barton Cowperthwaite) even from what should be a safe distance. Observe her standing at the barre, demurely gazing into the mirror, one lower leg cocked and twirling behind her while, some feet away, the handsome boys just happen to be flicking their own calf muscles more times than is absolutely necessary. No good will come of this.
I Want You To Want Me continues tonight at 8pm and Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. For information and tickets, click here or call 855-263-2623.
512 West 19th Street, Manhattan
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