new-york

Daniel Larrieu and Astrakan, Waterproof

The LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University

Waterproof is a dance-theater performance that resembles an abstract water ballet — a denatured entertainment—with a strong conceptual bent. Originally staged in Paris in 1985, the work is performed in a swimming pool by eight swimmer-dancers in black tank suits and identical goggles. Its 12 sections are organized around movement and/or perceptual conceits that generally carry an explicitly opaque metaphorical charge: “The Walk—traversing the aquatic space like a compact rain of autumn; solitude” reads a typical program note. The actual movement consists of a sort of floating/pedaling by raincoat-garbed swimmers, demonstrating the free gravity of water-walking and the flattened perspective afforded by the pool’s surface. The intense, serious tone of the performance, the extreme physical skills required of its cast, the use of flamboyant musical accompaniment (from keening Arabic rock to

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