New York

Tere O’Connor

Dance Theater Workshop

A few years ago, the choreographer Tere O’Connor issued a kind of challenge to those responding in print to his live pieces: “What would happen to the writing if you brought nothing to it? No pencil, no paper. It would have to be about a second sensation that arises in the critic. Or not. Who knows? I’m just saying, let’s try this together.” Unknowingly, as I had not yet come across these words, I ended up complying with O’Connor’s request when I attended his sixty-minute Wrought Iron Fog, 2009, this past November. But I wouldn’t have had much use for pad and paper anyway, since taking time away from watching the dance to make notes would have meant missing passages of lean, surprising movement whose contours couldn’t be wrangled with any reflective fidelity into language anyway.

This said, a desire to write about the work persisted. And besides, I don’t take O’Connor’s wariness (voiced by

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