Eastman: Babel

Let’s say you don’t know much about dance except to admire its elegant physicality and thoughtful energy—but then see the performance video of an outfit called Eastman, which turns out to be the dance company of one Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, legendary Belgian-Moroccan choreography savant. In this video, you're struck with the inherent narrative, the pure pleasure of tracing the movements of every one of the ensemble dancers on the stage, moving together and apart as if explaining everything about the show’s subject, the challenges of language and communication, politics and identity in a piece called Babel (Words)—as in that doomed utopian language-tower from Genesis. Where have you been? Does everybody else know this amazing work? And how could you not be there when the Barclay presents the West Coast premier, all the way from Antwerp, with live music? Watch the Eastman video, with its iterations of language as physical shape, of humans using themselves, each other and a set to build a world against gods and fate and misunderstanding which tears them apart. I dare you.
Sat., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2011


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