New York

Jan Lauwers and Needcompany

Brooklyn Museum

Morning Song, a 100-minute work directed by Jan Lauwers for his multilingual troupe Needcompany, is a pristine theatrical depiction of the present tense. His aesthetic of “now,” however, does not contain a single reference to virtual reality, nor is there any use of high-tech media; rather, Lauwers’s inherent intelligence is about the nature of the stage itself, which he uses to construct a layered space where everyday late-’90s conversation (sex, food, and politics predominate), music, and movement all circulate and bombard one another like currents of air. But this piece is not abstractly rendered—instead, it is as though the viewer were privy to an all-night gathering of eight good friends. They chat, they cook, they dance, they wander from room to room. They hold each other and push one another away; they are bored or friendly, distant, desperate, or enthralled. Life on stage is like

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