Miriam Felton-Dansky

  • Annie Dorsen, Spokaoke, 2012. Performance view, French Institute Alliance Française, New York, September 21, 2013. Photo: Brittany Buogiorno.


    PERFORMANCE RETROSPECTIVES, increasingly common, often highlight everything but the performances. Ephemera, video and photographic documentation, reenactments of excerpts from works restaged in galleries: These souvenirs abound as means of presenting and reflecting on an artist’s body of work, as opposed to fully staged productions themselves.

    “Algorithmic Theater: An Annie Dorsen Retrospective,” held at Bryn Mawr College in September 2022, was exceptional because it re-presented four of her performances made between 2010 and 2015. This allowed audiences to experience the force and meaning of

  • Adrienne Truscott, (Still) Asking For it, 2019. Performance view, Joe’s Pub, New York. Jenn Kidwell, Adrienne Truscott, and Mari Moriarty. Photo: Gretchen Robinette.
    performance October 03, 2019

    Tell It Like It Is

    STATISTICS TELL US THAT, at any given time, someone in our immediate vicinity has been raped—someone in our classroom, our office, someone ahead of us in line for coffee, or next to us on the subway. Which means, necessarily, that someone in our immediate vicinity has committed rape. We just prefer not to think that way, not to put the verb in the active tense, to consider that anyone—say, a fellow audience member watching Adrienne Truscott’s (Still) Asking For It on a Monday night—might have committed sexual assault. That would make rape a normal thing to do.

    Which it is, as Truscott forcefully

  • Faye Driscoll, Thank You For Coming: Space. Performance view, Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theater, 2019. Photo: Maria Baranova.
    performance April 22, 2019

    Negative Space

    DYING IS A PROCESS, one that is both arduous and physically precise—so Faye Driscoll reminds us as we walk through a darkened theater wing to see Thank You For Coming: Space, which premiered as part of Montclair State University’s Peak Performances. This choreographic investigation of death begins when audiences step around (or accidentally on) a collage of art historical images taped to the floor. The pictures mostly depict the aftermath of violent acts: scenes of crime and martyrdom; pools of blood, splayed limbs. In one medieval painting, a smiling skeleton cavorts arm in arm with the living