New York

Tere O'Connor

P.S. 122

This past season, issues surrounding sexuality and gender have so dominated choreography that at times it would have been advisable to give performances an R-rating. At a Stephen Petronio performance, female dancers, splayed diagonally across the stage, thrust their pelvises to form a fascinating open-legged chain of sexual tension; on another, a pair of Jane Comfort dancers—her legs and arms wound around his torso like a pulsating vine—pulled each other’s clothes off, and with lifts and lunges, hands pressing the length of each body, ended in an orgasmic tangle on the floor.

Such heated choreography, which uncoils the very core of physical movement and releases its overwhelming sensuality on a public stage, is intended to upset the decorum of dance. But it also examines, in great variety the nature of masculinity and femininity. Indeed, it would be difficult to find a more visceral

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