Martha Ullman West, Art Scatter’s chief correspondent, spent Thursday night at White Bird, watching Lucinda Childs‘ minimalist landmark “Dance.” (It repeats Friday and Saturday nights at Portland’s Newmark Theatre.) For Martha, who also reviewed the American premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Thursday’s show was a felicitous rediscovery.
By Martha Ullman West
Thirty-one years ago, dear lord, I saw and wrote about for Dance Magazine the American premiere of Lucinda Childs’ Dance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Philip Glass was in the pit, and the large house was packed with New York’s self-styled intelligentsia.
I thought it had good stuff in it, but came close to agreeing with my husband, who wearily muttered to me as we staggered down BAM’s steps and headed for the subway, “Minimalism is of minimal interest.”
So when I went last night to the Newmark to see the revival of this work, I was extremely curious to know how I would respond after three decades of watching and writing about dancing, of many kinds, in many places.
Dance, which has three sections (giving it the beginning, middle and end lacking in so much contemporary dance these days) strikes me now as a very beautiful work, indeed, and a playful one.