new-york

Nina Wiener, In Closed Time

brooklyn academy of music

The annual Next Wave Festival is structured on the classic avant-garde notion of collaborative projects. As with any artistic agenda, traditional or "cutting edge,” this criterion has yielded both shining moments and total misfires. Nina Wiener’s In Closed Time, 1985, was one of the flawed productions, its unevenly realized elements jostling out-of-sync in a failed attempt to achieve a Big Statement.

As always, Wiener’s complex formalist choreography was provocative and vigorous, and superbly performed; however, its narrative overlay, clearly intended to transmit a weighty message, was not sufficiently detailed to be understood, a muddle compounded by the use of three discrete musical scores and obtrusive sets. The scores—by Meredith Monk, Sergio Cervetti, and Elliott Sharp—were remarkable, but their individual effect was blurred by their uneasy juxtaposition within one work. The sets, by

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