TABLE OF CONTENTS

LETTER

Vera Montero

Repeating gestures and words until they are distilled to their very essence, Portuguese choreographer Vera Mantero reveals the absurdities and sorrows of everyday life. Drawing on Tadeusz Kantor’s “theater of images,” Mantero’s work differs radically from the “postmodern” American tradition, eschewing formal experimentation to probe distinctly unsettling territory. Strange things happen in Mantero’s performances: in one, a dancer continuously fires a gun at her head in order to know “how the world would be without me”; in another, a dancer hideously contorts her body as she crosses the stage, aging before our eyes. Mantero’s approach to dance as an art of memory and of the uncanny, of silence as well as words, seems to give critics a very hard time. Reviewing Mantero’s performances at The Kitchen last spring, The Village Voice dismissed her work as “too subtle.” Such criticisms arise, no

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