This month, Links Hall presents the second of a series of month-long showcases for experimental performance and dance. “A Drop of Water,” curated by Lito Walkey, focuses on new dance from Europe. If this weekend’s performance of “Both Sitting Duet,” by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, is any indication, “A Drop of Water” will be required viewing for anyone interested in the state of contemporary dance. “Both Sitting Duet,” as its name suggests, derives much of its energy from the simple but dramatic constraint operating almost throughout: the two performers are seated in wooden chairs, so that their possibilities of movement are severely limited. Hand, arm and facial gestures become the primary means of expression. Such an austere constraint might seem to guarantee a tedious minimalism, but the remarkable thing about “Both Sitting Duet” is that it manages to be playful, lyrical and wonderfully strange by turns. The intense, mute communication between Burrows and Fargion resembles that of two improvising musicians—not so surprising, given that the piece is in fact a “translation” into dance of a musical composition by Morton Feldman. In a post-show discussion, Burrows described his desire simultaneously to register and to transcend the context of conceptual art. “Both Sitting Duet” realizes this desire beautifully. Next week, the series turns to Vienna to feature Sabina Holzer and Boris Hauf; based on the work of Kathy Acker, Holzer and Hauf’s collaboration promises to be wild. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.