Lawrence Goldhuber Biography


Goldhuber has been an active presence in the world of modern dance for 35+ years, beginning with his Bessie winning decade in the ground breaking BIll T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He moves seamlessly between being a performer, working as a choreographer, as a teacher, and as a director, enjoying all capacities equally.


During the pandemic, Goldhuber appeared in several video dance projects, including Come Together with the Jones/Zane Co., Heidi Latsky Dance, Harofei, and Sean Curran Co.  Prior to the shut down, he was again working with Bill T. Jones on Deep Blue Sea, a premier for the Park Avenue Armory, now rescheduled for September 2021. He is featured in a documentary on the creation of Jones’ master work D-man in the Waters (Can you Bring It?) currently released nationwide in theaters.


His choreographic work includes the commissioned premiere of Whose Broads Stripes on the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial, Julius Caesar Superstar at Danspace Project in NYC, and choreographing and performing in The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony, commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. He helped create and appeared in The Cost of Living with British group DV8 Physical Theater at the Olympic Arts Festival in Sydney, London and Hong Kong, and was also part of the creation and 26 city European tour of the Jan Fabre/Troubleyn production Prometheus Landscape II in 2011. A New York season of his repertory was seen at Dance Theater Workshop (now NYLA) in May 2007, including the commission of HOODY, an urban version of Little Red Riding Hood. He has choreographed for the students at SUNY Brockport, University of Texas - Dallas, STEPS, and most recently Manhattanville College.


In the Fall of 2014, Goldhuber directed and performed in Body-ody-ody, seen by thousands of school children at MASS MoCA in the Berkshires, and then again at the Snug Harbor Music Hall on Staten Island in 2015. Goldhuber's Sleeping Giant (based on Daniel Duford's story and installation) with live music by Tin Hat also premiered at MASS MoCA in August, 2008, following a two week residency. The New York City presentation was performed at the Abrons Arts Center in October, 2008. His work TRELLIS premiered at the Abrons in May 2010. In the Fall of 2016, SMITE, a multi-site-specific Bible epic was to be performed across the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens on Staten Island, but rain forced the show to be performed inside the music hall.


Born in New York City, Goldhuber trained as an actor at Boston University and has appeared in many commercials, films and plays. He performed his cabaret act A Dangerous Habit at Upstairs at Greene Street in NYC. In 1995, Goldhuber received a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for "sustained achievement as an influential presence in modern dance" and then served as the co- host for the 2002 awards. He is the recipient of a 2002 Fellowship in Choreography from NYFA, and funding from the Jerome, Harkness, Mayer, Bossak/Heilbron, and Joyce Theater Foundations, as well as the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, and the American Music Center. His work has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater Foundation, The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Dance Theater Workshop, Lower Manhattan Culture Council (LMCC), Danspace Project, Performance Space 122, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), and Jacob's Pillow among others. Goldhuber was an artist in residence at the Joyce Soho in 2005, and at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center for the 2007-8 season.


Goldhuber began working with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1985 touring worldwide and creating roles in such landmark dances as Still/Here and Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land. Other work with Mr. Jones includes Sir Michael Tippet's New Year (under the direction of Sir Peter Hall) for the Houston Grand Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the BBC film version, Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera, and Mother of Three Sons also at the Houston Grand Opera. On television, Mr. Goldhuber was featured in both Alive TV's Still/Here and PBS' Great Performances series documentary Dancing to The Promised Land. He continues to make guest appearances with the company. 


His company, Goldhuber & Latsky (with partner Heidi Latsky) performed internationally (including a nine city tour of Switzerland) and received many commissions for new work, including The American Dance Festival (Primus/Tamaris Fellowship in Choreography 1997), The Joyce Theater, The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, PS 122, The Cannes International Festival de Danse, Teatro Libero Palermo, and Celebrate Brooklyn! Goldhuber joined Heidi Latsky Dance at Montclair State University, Lincoln Center, and NYU in 2015, and in several video/filmed dances.


Larry was often a featured performer at the legendary downtown club Jackie 60. He was on the Artist Advisory Committee of Performance Space 122 in New York City for a decade, where his solo shows, When the World Smells Like Bacon premiered February 2001, and The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris enjoyed a three week run in February 2004. He has enjoyed performing with Meredith Monk in Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim Museum, and acting in the play SWELL(ing) Relatives, written and directed by Valeria Vasilevski, at La Mama E.T.C. in NYC. Other dance and theater work includes Jerome Bel's The Show Must Go On at MoMA, Fred Ho's Journey Beyond the West at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, the title role in Golem for the Henson International Puppet Festival, and both Invisible Languages at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and Tales of Exile at Lincoln Center, with Ruby Shang Company. In addition to several seasons performing with Keely Garfield in New York and London, he has danced with Sherry Vine at Wigstock, many times with Wallie Wolfgruber, with Janet Lilly, and so many others...








Rhetta Aleong  (Dancer) Likes and enjoys working in Mr. Larry's process. She is happy to have an opportunity to try it on again. She is also a longtime member of Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, writes poetry to help her color and deal with reality and has an ongoing relationship with the Divine, in all its forms. Respect to the birthplace, MayMay, Georgie, Dr. Peez, Nilla & Choc-E, Core Peeps and all Above, Below, Ahead and Behind. Love is all.

Ara Anderson (Tin Hat) is a performer, bandleader, and composer from San Francisco. He performs mainly on trumpet, but also plays bass trumpet, sousaphone, piano, pump organ, celesta, and glockenspiel. He is known for his own bands Iron & the Albatross and Boostamonte!, as well as his sideman work with Tom Waits, Sean Hayes, and Jonathan Richman. Ara's compositions (along with others by his Tin Hat band mates) are featured in the film "La Giusta Distanza" (directed by Carlo Mazzacurati) and a soon-to-be released film production of Tennessee Williams' screenplay "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond."

Arthur Aviles (Dancer) is a queer NewYork-Rican from the Bronx with a B.A. from Bard College, class of '87.  He was a member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from '87 to '95, where he received a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award in 1988.  He has choreographed for and danced with his 6 member dance troupe Typical Theatre since '96. Co-founder of the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) since '98.  Since '02 he has been Director of the Bronx Dance Coalition which puts out the Bronx Dance magazine.  This is his third show with BIGMANARTS.  Visit for more information.

Gregory L. Bain (Production Design) has been active in media technologies, arts administration, theatre production, commercial and theatrical lighting design, sound design and stage management, as well as audio and video recording technologies, since 1971. During 30+ years of extensive world touring with numerous theatre, music, and dance companies, Mr. Bain has also co-directed a New York City based production company, GLB Presents.  In 2003, Gregory directed his media technologies career, and stage management and theatre crafts skills toward becoming more active in early childhood education, human development, and social service activities that promote education, empowerment, and advancement opportunities within underprivileged and underserved families and communities. In 2007 Mr. Bain received a Masters Degree in social work (MSW).  2008 celebrates his 22nd year of collaborating with Lawrence Goldhuber.

Daniel Duford (Story and Artwork) is an artist and writer. He makes site-specific wall drawings, paintings, comics and sculpture to tell stories that meditate on myth in the American psyche. In July he had a solo show at The Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta based on his graphic novel The Naked Boy. In 2009 he will install a major public art piece in Old Town and Chinatown in Portland as part of TriMet's light rail extension. His sculpture and drawings have been shown nationally including The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, The Albuquerque Art Museum, Contemporary Craft Gallery, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's and The Art Gym at Marylhurst University. His illustration and comic work has appeared in Tin House Magazine and the self-published titles, Radio Relay Towers, The Green Man of B Street and We Are on Our Mind (with C.Hollow). He was recently featured in Downy Bird Art Kingdom an anthology of West Coast artists. His writing has appeared in Parabola, Artweek, ARTnews, The Organ, The Bear Deluxe, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Technical and Ceramics: Art and Perception. With his wife Tracy Schlapp he works under the collaborative name Cumbersome Multiples. This year Cumbersome Multiples collaborated with Rafael Oses and Carla Kihlstedt for the performance Necessary Monsters at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Cumbersome Multiples also recently completed a project in Pont Aven, Brittany. He has a BFA from the University of New Mexico. He teaches at Pacific Northwest College of Art.   

Alice Kaltman (Dancer) has been dancing professionally since 1977. Her own choreography was presented nationally throughout the 1980's in NYC by Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace Project, among other venues. At the same time Alice appeared in other people's work, and continues to do so long after hanging up her own dance-maker's hat. Most notably and recently, Alice danced with Kate Gyllenhaal's MOCO from 2000-2006 and in projects with the fabulous Heidi Latsky since 1991. This is her debut with BIGMANARTS. She is thrilled to be working with Larry and all the other amazingly talented, cool folks on Sleeping Giant.

Heidi Latsky (Dancer) is currently the Artistic Director of HEIDI LATSKY DANCE. She has received two nominations from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for her work with director Mary Fulham and is a faculty member at Hofstra University. Recent commissions have included Li Chaio Ping Dance, Point Park College, Hofstra University, Infinity Dance Theater and the AIDS Service Center of New York City. Her latest project GIMP has been presented at various venues throughout the United States and will have its official premiere in November at the North Fourth Arts Center in Albuquerque and its NYC premiere at The Abrons Arts Center. It is the subject of two documentaries and an NPR story. Having worked with Lawrence with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1987-1993 and then with him in Goldhuber & Latsky from 1993-2000, she is thrilled to be reunited for this project.

Eric Notke (Production Manager) Eric is the Production Manager for the Performing Arts at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA where Sleeping Giant recently had its world premiere. He is excited to continue his involvement with the production here in New York City.

Mark Orton (Tin Hat) Founding Tin Hat member Mark Orton is a composer/guitarist based in Portland, OR.  Having grown up in a musical family, he is a multi-instrumentalist as well, performing on all manner of keyboards, strings, and percussion. He has written soundtracks for or contributed music to many films, both feature and documentary, including "The Good Girl," "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," "Everything Is Illuminated," "Sweet Land," and "Comrades in Dreams," along with the upcoming release "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond". His score for an experimental film by choreographer Laurie McLeod was featured in a Mass MOCA installation entitled "Waterhaven #1 (LuoYong's Dream)". Orton is busy as an arranger as well, working alongside producer Larry Klein while arranging strings for Madeleine Peyroux and Vienna Teng, among others. Outside of Tin Hat, Orton performs with his Aurora Septet and Lap Steel Trio as well as with the alt-country band The Old Joe Clarks. Additionally, he is a founding member of "Famous Last Words And Music", an artist collective devoted to the production and live performance of experimental radio theatre.

Liz Prince (Costume Design) has had the pleasure of designing a number of projects for Lawrence. Other design work includes: Bill T. Jones (Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Doug Varone (Doug Varone and Dancers, Jose Limon Dance Company, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company), Trey McIntyre (American Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHILADANCO), Mark Dendy (Dendy Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dortmund Theater Ballet), Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, Neil Greenberg, Pilobolus, Jane Comfort, Bebe Miller, Keely Garfield, Ralph Lemon and Arthur Aviles.  Prince's costumes have been exhibited at The Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She received a 1990 New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE) for costume design.

Seth Reiser (Associate Lighting Design) Seth also designs lighting for theatre and dance in and around New York City.  Recent credits include: The Cabaret and Performance Conference (The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center), Disinformation with Reggie Watts/Tommy Smith (The Public Theatre, UTR), Rabbit Hole/Cigdem Onat, People Like Us/Silas Reiner and Kristen Arnold, The Dripping Portrait/Meg Madorin and Chelsea Bonosky, But I Expected/Jennifer Jones, I am a Camera/Constnace McCord (NYU), The End/Christopher Denham  (Kiss Productions), Days and Nights, page 121, 11 and 12/Marc Weitz (Purple Man Theatre Company), Shakespeare's Tap Sonnets/Awoye Timpo (Novisi).  Up coming projects include: The Women/Andrea Ferran, and The Vanished/Awoye Timpo with Novisi where Seth is the resident designer.  Seth has his MFA from NYU.

Brandin Steffensen (Dancer) has danced with many choreographers including Yoshiko Chuma, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Tiffany Mills Company, Christopher Williams, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, and Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects.  He performed in Keely Garfield's latest production Limerence.  Brandin was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.  There he earned his BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and danced with the repertory Ririe Woodbury Dance Company touring works by choreographers including Alwin Nikolais, Doug Varone, Wayne McGregor, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Sean Curran, Keith Johnson, and Stephen Koester, among others.  Currently, he is performing his solo adaptation of Deborah Hay's N.E.W.S. as he travels.  Layard Thompson, Ede Thurrell, and he comprise NEWS GROUP and perform not the same solo an evening of Deborah Hay solo adaptations.  Brandin has produced his own works in his show N.E.W.S. & More @ 8.  He is the artistic director of the Catskill Collaborative, whose mission is to develop an audience for dance in Catskill through shows and artist residencies.

Tin Hat (Score) Forging a new acoustic sound that defies categorization while striking universal chords, Tin Hat makes freewheeling chamber music for the 21st century. Garnering widespread critical acclaim for its five CDs , the group has also earned high marks for their captivating performances, sometimes including original soundtracks for classic silent film animation from Russia. Tin Hat's international audiences have grown over the years through many concert tours in the United States and in Europe.  Founded in 1997 in San Francisco by violinist Carla Kihlstedt, guitarist Mark Orton, and accordionist and pianist Rob Burger, the original Tin Hat Trio was formed as a composer's collective, committed to creating a purely acoustic music that blurred the lines between composition and improvisation.  All of their recordings feature special guests, among them such luminaries as Tom Waits and Willie Nelson, as well as their luminescent friends like clarinetist Ben Goldberg and harpist Zeena Parkins. After Rob Burger left the group in late 2004, Goldberg became a permanent member, along with multi-instrumentalist Ara Anderson, a San Francisco native.  Outside the recording studio, Tin Hat pursues an active touring schedule both in America and Europe, as well as a number of special projects. The original trio performed as a quartet (with tuba), with a brass ensemble, and with a 12-piece ensemble of strings and winds. In 2003, they performed Orton's triple concerto for trio and 21 strings, commissioned by The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Tin Hat has also accompanied the silent insect animations of Ladislaw Starewicz with a series of original scores which are performed live with these groundbreaking films.  Attesting to the cinematic qualities of their music, Tin Hat is also featured on a number of "un-silent" film soundtracks, including "The Good Girl," "The Real Dirt on Farmer John", "Sweet Land," "Everything is Illuminated," "La Giusta Distanza," and the upcoming release "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond." Dance and theater companies are other frequent users of Tin Hat's music,e.g. Pilobolus, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Koresh Dance and Spectrum Dance Theater/Donald Byrd, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and The Pickle Family Circus.

Tony Wicks (Dancer, assistant to the choreographer) is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theater School. He was Assistant to the Choreographer on both BIGMANARTS' production of Julius Caesar Superstar at Danspace Project, and Keely Garfield's Disturbulence at Dance Theater Workshop, and worked as an assistant to the media artist Gretchen Bender.  His Molly House Theater Company premiered in 2006 at BAAD! (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance) with the production Two by Copi.  These are his first dance performances.

Robert Wierzel (Lighting Design) is pleased to continue his collaboration with Mr. Goldhuber.  Robert has worked in theatre, dance, new music and opera, with artists and directors from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, on stages throughout the country and abroad.  Mr. Wierzel has a long history (22 years) with choreographer Bill T. Jones and his company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (several Bessie Awards, along with productions at the Lyon Opera Ballet and Berlin Opera Ballet). Other dance collaborations include choreographers Goldhuber & Latsky (Worst Case Scenario-Bessie Award), Margo Sappington, Alonzo King, Sean Curran, Molissa Fenely, Susan Marshall, Charlie Moulton, Arthur Aviles, Trisha Brown, (How long), and Doug Varone, (Orpheus and Euridice - Obie Award-Special Citation). Other credits- Broadway: David Copperfield's Dreams and Nightmares, The Deep Blue Sea. Regional: A.C.T. San Francisco; Arena Stage; Shakespeare Theatre DC; Hartford Stage; Long Wharf Theatre; Goodman Theatre; The Guthrie; Mark Taper Forum; Chicago Shakespeare; Westport Country Playhouse, among many others.  Opera companies of Paris (Garnier); Berlin; Tokyo; Toronto; Montreal; Boston; Glimmerglass Opera; New York City Opera; San Diego; San Francisco; Houston; Washington; Seattle; Virginia; Portland; Vancouver; and Chicago, among others. Recent New York project: Fela! A new musical, directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones.

Janet Wong (Video Design) Born in Hong Kong and lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Berlin and since 1993, New York.  Began working with video in 2004 and has created video design for the stage for Lawrence Goldhuber, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  Janet was trained as a dancer and is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  To find out more visit


Patricia Hoffbauer (Dancer) is a dance artist whose own work and collaborations with George Emilio Sanchez have been shown throughout the Americas.  She is currently working with Yvonne Rainer and the raindeers.

Amber Martin (Dancer) comes from Pt. Arthur, TX.  Award-winning solo artist.  Founder of comedic & politically inspired performance group, House Of Cunt.  Currently performing in NYC, @ Steve Walters' infamous Cutting Room in her one person show Been On A Train & Other Lies

Sidney Boone (Senator) Oldest of 11 children, veteran of the U.S. Airforce & Army Reserves.  Resident of Huntspoint - patron of Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance (BAAD).  Also a work in progress.

Eric Stephen Booth (Senator), director, producer, filmmaker, actor, performer, editor, playwright, screenwriter and just your ordinary native New Yorker, is making his dance debut in this production of JCS. Mr. Booth, winner of various awards for his writings and TV productions praises Lawrence Goldhuber on his excellence in choreographing and directing him in this fabulous production.

Loren Kiyoshi Dempster (Cello) uses a combination of computer, Max/MSP patches, field recordings, cello, electric cello, free improvisation, tiny instruments, and world music influences to create and perform music.   Ever interested in the relationship between movement and sound, he has created or performed music for many choreographers including Merce Cunningham, Chris Ferris, Catherine Kerr, Elke Rindfleisch, and Ted Thomas.

Alberto Denis (Soldier) BA in Theater/Dance, Rhode Island College, summa cum laude.
Raised primarily in RI and now living in Queens, the city of his birth, Al is the Resident Producer of Dance Space Center's Evolving Arts Theater. He is a full company member with Arthur Aviles Typical Theater and palissimo Dance Theater, has worked previously with Heidi Latsky Dance, Erica Essner Performance Co-op and JoAnna Mendl Shaw's Equus Dance Project, and is now looking forward to a new project with Dixie (Fun Lee) Shulman set to premiere this fall. His own choreography has been produced at Danspace Project's Food For Thought, Dixon Place, BAAD!, Sal Anthony's Movement Salon, and SWEAT outdoors in New Jersey. Peace, love and joy to you, the viewer. =-) For more info contact:

Marcelo Rueda Duran (Soldier) was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1974. He majored in Sociology at the National University of Colombia. Co-founder of Danza Comun with which he has toured to several international festivals as dancer and Artistic Director. Currently in New York as a research scholar sponsored by the Fulbright Commission to complete the Professional Studies Program at the Jose Limon Dance Foundation.

Thom Fogarty (Senator) has been performing professionally since 1973, with Peter Anastos, Timothy Buckley, Joseph Chaikin, Ping Chong, Jane Comfort, Alice Farley, Kinematic, Otrabanda, Tamar Rogoff, Amy Sue Rosen & Derek Berstein, and Laura Stanton to name a few.  His own work has been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe.  He is thrilled to be coming full circle and performing WITH Mr. Goldhuber instead of AS Mr. Goldhuber.  Thank you Larry, for allowing me to be human again and proving there is life after Lloyd.  Can you feel a brand new day - INDEED!  

Geoff Gersh (Composer/guitarist) is thrilled to be collaborating with Lawrence Goldhuber, his cousin, for the first time.  He has been composing for dance since 1995 and has worked with Swan Pouffer, Karen Graham and Cynthia Oliver on multiple projects.  Geoff received a Bessie Award in 2000 for his collaborative score for Cynthia Oliver's SHEMAD and has been awarded grants from NYFA, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center.

Kathy Kaufmann (Lighting design) is delighted to be collaborating with LG & Co. for the first time.  She is a resident designer here at Danspace and received a 2004 Bessie Award for her lighting. Recent projects include David Parker's Nutcracked at DTW, Karinne Keithley's Tenderenda and Polly Motley's Dancing the Numbers at Danspace, and Jody Oberfelder's LineAge and Landmarks of Dreams in Pennsylvania, Serbia and Montenegro.

Robert La Fosse (Caesar) was born in Beaumont, Texas, received his ballet training at the Marsha Woody Academy of Dance and joined American Ballet Theatre in 1977, where he danced as a principal dancer for nine years. In 1986 he joined New York City Ballet as a principal, dancing lead roles in many full-length classical ballets, including the U.S. premiere of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet.  He has danced a wide variety oforiginal roles in ballets by numerous choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, Lynne Taylor Corbett, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins.  Mr. La Fosse has also starred in the Broadway productions of Bob Fosse's Dancin' and in Jerome Robbins' Broadway, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor.  In addition to performing, Mr. La Fosse is also a choreographer.  Highlights include his first ballet, Rappacini's Daughter created for 'Mikhail Baryshnikov and Company, and over 10 works for the New York City Ballet.  He collaborated with John Kelly and Company in Light Shall Lift Them for Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, and choreographed Stars and Stripes Forever for Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo.  Numerous television appearances include: 'American Ballet Theatre in San Francisco', Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove, and the 'Live From Lincoln Center' telecast of 'Ray Charles in concert with the New York City Ballet'. Mr. La Fosse appeared as Dr. Stahlbaum in the film version of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.  In 1987 he wrote his autobiography entitled Nothing to Hide.
Rosalynde LeBlanc (Senator) Rosalynde LeBlanc danced with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1993-99) and White Oak Dance Project (1999-2002). She currently works as a free-lance dancer with Liz Gerring Dance Company, Noemi LaFrance and The Metropolitan Opera, among others. In addition, she can be seen in Burt Barr's film, Roz, John Tuturro's Romance and Cigarettes, and she writes for Dance Magazine. She holds a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase.

Valentin Ortolaza, Jr. (Soldier) Although a native of Rockland County, he lived in Rochester, NY, for over twenty years, where he danced with The Rochester City Ballet, The Flower City Ballet, and The Hendrick Dance Project.  Val has also performed in numerous musical theater productions, such as West Side Story, La Cage aux Folles and A Chorus Line to name a few.  Thanks LA.

Hapi Phace (Senator) Hapi Phace was born (in a trunk) in Brooklyn.  Best known as the emcee of Whispers at The Pyramid Club, he has appeared in numerous downtown performance art, theater, and film productions, He wrote or co-wrote and starred in I Told You These Heels Were Killing Me, Katz, Lincoln, The John Wayne Gacey Story, Cocinando Con Frida Kahlo, Sara Lee Entermann:Undercover Dietician, and My Tiny Life.  Thank you, water.

Micki Saba (Senator) is currently on faculty teaching dance at The University of Texas at Dallas.  She was a member of Dancers' Unlimited Repertory Company for ten years and has worked throughout the country performing, choreographing, and teaching as an independent artist for over twenty years.  She received her BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University.  Micki has a strong commitment to arts in education through Young Audiences where she creates performance programs and participates as a resident artist to provide custom made residency to young students.

Valeria Vasilevski (Editing Advisor) is a director and writer with deep roots in the theater, extending back to original work with Jerzy Grotowski ('74) and evolving through performance art, dance theater, music theater and concert theater. This season she is collaborating on a concert theater work with Kevin Norton based on The Society of Spectacle by Guy Debord; with Neil Rolnick on a large music theater piece, The Pachinko Project; and with Frances White and Kristin Norderval on an original chamber opera, She Lost her Voice That's How We Knew. The Singing Bridge, another dramaturgy project, opens at Stonington Opera House in July.  She thanks The Joyce SoHo for this great opportunity to work with Larry again!

Micki Wesson (Soothsayer, Judge) Former dancer and teacher.  Performed with The Paper Bag Players and also with Meredith Monk, Bessie Award 2000. President Emerita Merdith Monk/The House Foundation for the Arts.  Current board member of Dance Theater Workshop.


David Brooks lives and works in Hollywood.  Goldhubris marks his debut in the dance.


Jamie Bishton (Dancer) performed as a dancer with Twyla Tharp from 1985 through 1999, with American Ballet Theater (1988-1990) and was an original member of Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project where he worked until 1998.  In 1998 he became Ms. Tharp's director of the dancers for her company, THARP! and toured with them as her assistant and as a dancer. Mr. Bishton received a New York Dance and Performance "BESSIE" award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 1995. In November of 2000, Mr. Bishton was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from California Institute of the Arts.  He was a producer with Dancers Responding to AIDS and is now a Vice President with NOARUS Auto Group in Los Angeles, California.  Mr. Bishton worked on Patrick Swayze's dance movie One Last Dance in which he was Mr. Swayze's dance double and also cast as a dancer. His other film dance credits include The Next Step, James L. Brooks' I'll Do Anything,  Reefer Madness: The Musical, and with Miss Tharp, on PBS' Dance in America - In the Upper Room.  His choreographic work and company Jamie Bishton | DANCE has been presented at various festivals, showcases, and theaters in New York City and the United States. Mr. Bishton was one of the 7 co-creators on The Seven Deadly Sins at Jacob's Pillow with Mr. Goldhuber and he is thrilled to be performing again as a kiss. It is his favorite role to date.

David Parker (Dancer) is the artistic director of David Parker and The Bang Group, a rhythm-based theatrical dance troupe which was just presented in its sixth full-evening program by DTW last week.  The Bang Group has toured widely throughout North America and Europe and is known for such signature works as Slapstuck, a duet for Velcro-clad men and Nut/Cracked, Parker's comic/subversive neo-vaudeville Nutcracker which has enjoyed two highly acclaimed runs at DTW.  Nut/Cracked has been performed over 100 times in venues ranging from large performing arts centers to cabaret stages both here and abroad.  It will appear in Boston next season as part of the Out on the Edge Festival.  In addition to touring and creating with his own company, Parker has recently made new dances for The Julliard School, The Anna Sokolow Theater Dance Ensemble, and, the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana.  This year he will also make new dances commissioned by Pittsburgh Dance Alloy and Groundworks Dance in Cleveland.  As a performer, he has been joyfully appearing with Doug Elkins in his reconception of The Sound of Music called Fraulein Maria at Joe's Pub, and Fiona Marcotty Dolenga's Hidden Arena Dance.  He serves on the board of directors for Danspace Project and The Field and also sits on the Bessie Awards Committee.  He was a founding member of Pink Ribbons Project/Dancers in Motion Against Breast Cancer.  Parker teaches dance composition at Barnard College and The Alvin Ailey School. For more information visit

Wallie Wolfgruber (Dancer) was born in a Bavaria and passed her stage exam in dance with distinction at the Vienna State Theater at age fifteen. Having explored the ballet idiom at the Landestheater Salzburg and the National Theater in Munich, she became captivated by modern dance, moved to NYC and became a principal member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1988. Other companies she danced with include the Rod Rogers Dance Company, Keith Young Dance, Donald Byrd/The Group, the Ohad Naharin Dance Company and Sung Soo Ahn. She has performed in Europe, Asia, Central-and South America, Canada and in over 30 states in the US, and started choreographing in 1996. Her choreography has been presented in Germany, Canada, France and in NYC at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, LaMama E.T.C., Joyce Soho, Joe's Pub, the Duke Theater on 42nd Street and DTW.  Her video dance A Hands- On Affair (created with Alvin Booth) was screened at the Dance on Camera West International Festival in Los Angeles and at the Lincoln Center Dance on Camera Festival.  Certified in the Trager Approach/ Psychophysical Integration, she holds an MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has extensive domestic and international teaching experience including: Co-founder and director of SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance) in Austria, choreographic assistant for Lar Lubovitch and director of the undergraduate dance program and tenured Associate Professor at SUNY Brockport. Recent activities include two commissions from Florida State University, joining their dance faculty for Spring 07, presenting an evening of works at the University of Rochester and at LaMama E.T.C.

Stanley Moss (Designer) has been active in brand consultancy and image communication worldwide for over 35 years for clients like Coca-Cola, Honeywell, Philips, Intel, The New York Times, Citibank, Drexel Burnham Lambert, France Telecom, and now, BIG. Moss' work as a visual artist has been exhibited internationally. A career New Yorker for 25 years, he now resides in Portland, OR.  In August 2003 Moss was inducted into the Medinge Group, the leading international think tank on branding, which is based in Stockholm.  Please visit his website for further details.


Keely Garfield, (Dancer) originally from London, England, has lived in New York City since 1986. She has received numerous commissions for her work, and has been presented at many theaters and festivals both nationally and internationally.  Among other endeavors, Garfield has created work for ballet dancers (Dance Theatre of Harlem), antique puppets (Golem, Chechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre), musical theater (Gypsy, Sundance Theatre, Utah, Carnival, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival), children (Reel to Real, Lincoln Center), students (Barnard, Hunter), and MTV.  Garfield is a curator (with Peggy Peloquin) of Dance Theater Workshop's Family Matters series, and serves as the chair of DTW's Artist Committee.  Highlights include: Deep (The Joyce Theater), Disturbing The Peace (Zenon Dance Company, MN), Iron Lung (Groundworks Dancetheater, OH), and Disturbulance (Dance Theater Workshop), Scent of Mental Love (Film for Radio Bremen/Canal Arte), and most recently Line & Sink Her (Danspace Project).  Keely is very happy to be working again with Larry, her dearest pal!  For more information visit

Goldhuber & Latsky  The 1997 recipients of the Scripps/ADF Primus-Tamaris Fellowship for Choreography, Heidi Latsky and Lawrence Goldhuber first worked together as dancers in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. They have been creating work together since 1993 when they were commissioned by the Cannes International Festival de Danse. Other commissions include The Joyce Theater, The American Dance Festival, The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, Teatro Libero Palermo, Celebrate Brooklyn!, and two from Performance Space 122.


Bill T. Jones (Choreographer) a 1994 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY) where he became co-founder of the American Dance Asylum in 1973. Before forming Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, Mr. Jones choreographed and performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane. In addition to creating more than 50 works for his own company, Mr. Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, among others. Television credits for Mr. Jones include Fever Swamp, which was filmed for PBS's "Great Performances" series, and Untitled for "Alive from Off Center" which aired on PBS. In 1992, a documentary on Bill T. Jones' Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land was aired on Dance in America as part of PBS's "Great Performances" series. Still/Here was co-directed for television by Bill T. Jones and Gretchen Bender and aired nationally and internationally. In addition to the MacArthur Fellowship, Mr. Jones has received several other prestigious awards: the CAPS Award in Choreography in 1979; Four Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; two New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awards, and was honored with the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award for his innovative contributions to performing arts in 1991. In 1993, Mr. Jones was presented with the Dance Magazine Award. Mr. Jones' memoirs, Last Night on Earth, were published by Pantheon Books in 1995. An in-depth look at the work of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane can be found in Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane, published in 1989 by Station Hill Press.


Gretchen Bender (1951-2004) is a multi disciplinary artist. Her film work includes the television adaptation of Still/Here (Director's Gold Medal-FIPA Awards, France) and the film dream sequence for the dance opera A Mother of Three Sons at Lincoln Center and Houston Grand Opera. As a visual artist, she has had a dozen one person exhibitions and been included in hundreds of group shows . Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and The Menil Collection, Houston among others. She has worked extensively with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, including the visual concept and media environments for Still/Here (Bessie Award) and Freedom of Information.

Nuria Olive-Belles (Film maker) was born in Barcelona, Spain, where she began her studies in dance. In 1986, she received a grant to study at Merce Cunningham School in New York City, where she continues to reside. She was invited to perform and choreograph at the American Dance Festival as an International Choreographer for two consecutive years and was commissioned to perform her work in such New York venues as The Kitchen, Dance Theatre Workshop, Performance Space122 and DiaCenter for the Arts. She studied film directing at the School of Visual Arts, graduating with honors in 1994. Her second film, The Fight, won the Golden Dinosaur Egg at Poland's Krakow Film Festival and second prize in the Cinevue International Film Festival, Canada. Her fourth film, Alicia Was Fainting, won Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Directing at the 5th Annual Dusty Awards. Other awards include: the Rodhes Family Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement; Bravo Independent Channel IFC 1994, Outstanding Student Filmmaker Award and the Silver Award at the National Education Media Film Festival, California. Her feature film The Domain of the Senses, episode Touch, won the audience award in the Alcalá de Henares Film Festival, Madrid. She was the resident filmmaker for two years at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Her most recent documentary, InvisibleWings, was selected for the BBC British Short Film Festival, London, 1999 and the Dance on Camera Film Festival, New York, 2000.











"extremely hefty" Artforum


                   "unapologetically bulky" LA Times


"chubby but dainty" Oakland Tribune


                          "not a small man" The New York Times

"extremely corpulent" San Francisco Examiner


                                      "tubby... mountainous... heroic" Village Voice


"a gentleman of Falstaffian proportions" Bergen Record


                                                      "fills a room just by showing up" New York Magazine


"a distinctly portly fellow" The New Yorker


"an actor-dancer-choreographer of impressive avoirdupois"

The Village Voice

"An artist of considerable depth and refinement...
...First-rate theater with a surprising edge of poignancy."
Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times

"a witty, touching dance-maker"
Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times

"Goldhuber is an ingenous theatrical director"
Lisa Jo Sagolla, Backstage

"Goldhuber is nothing short of a miracle...

light and playful as a gazelle."
Lynn Garafola, Dance Magazine


"Commands respect and affection from his very first move...

astonishingly agileand swift as well as immensely

perceptive and confident..."
Tobi Tobias, New York Magazine

"Made the audience laugh outloud...

elegant, stylized, and comical."
Sarah Wallis, Lillith Magazine


"Fierce attention to every step and gesture brought the house down."
Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice








By Laura Shapiro


We may be having a cold winter, but with so much political hot air swirling around, it’s as if the whole nation were trapped under some vast, puffy quilt stuffed with rhetoric. The piety and patriotism, the hands on the heart, the earnest analyses and reassessments and scrutinizing of campaign declarations so vacuous they defy the laws of chemistry—thank goodness all this stuff provides one useful service, namely supplying a perfect context for Lawrence Goldhuber’s new theater piece at P.S. 122.


Everything about The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris is oversize except the work itself, which is quite concise: It runs less than an hour and has a cast of one. But that one is Goldhuber, and the guy fills a room just by showing up. For years he was an enormous, unforgettable presence in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; more recently he’s been choreographing and performing on his own.


Life and Times, written and directed by Goldhuber and David Brooks, is a kind of biopic in which he plays America itself. Framed by video footage on three screens, Goldhuber contains multitudes. First he personifies a mythological birth, diving into the world as the heavens shake; then he’s the star in a living-my-dream success story; and when that story ends in a locked ward, he becomes all the demons racketing through his own brain. Huge video images of his face assail him as he rolls on the floor in a straitjacket shouting, "Why does everything happen to me, me, me?"

That cry—Me, me, me—may be the most nakedly American moment in the piece. There are plenty of cultural references here, from the highway footage onscreen to Goldhuber’s desperate mumble, "Be all you can be I can’t believe it’s not butter it’s the real thing where’s the beef?" But more telling than any of these is simply Goldhuber, embodying a narcissism as big as the world. In a final, raging dance, he struggles to get his giant self out of that straitjacket, then bursts free singing "Only in America." It’s as scary as the nightly news.




'When the World Smells Like Bacon': A Tasty B.L.T for a Meditator Writ Large



Lawrence Goldhuber called his evening of dance "When the World Smells Like Bacon." He also made and began to eat a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on the stage in the title piece, a meditation on families, Judaism and being fat, in a program presented on Sunday night at P.S. 122.

Mr. Goldhuber, a former Bill T. Jones dancer famous for his 350-pound weight, turns such everyday topics into charmingly unassuming, first-rate theater with a surprising edge of poignancy.

The centerpiece of the program was the new "Dances With Wolves," created and performed with Keely Garfield. The two make an enjoyably sly pair of combative, nutty lovers as they glide about the floor to old and new popular favorites. It is fun to see them doing a "Fred and Ginger" every now and then in a score that includes Astaire singing "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

But even better is their comic timing and Mr. Goldhuber's small, oddly telling gestures, as when he appears to write disconsolately across the bottom of Ms. Garfield's sequined gown. Gisela Stromeyer's simple set creates an elegant ballroom, with the bright colors of Robert Wierzel's lighting bouncing off curved fabric pillars.

Mr. Goldhuber is good at evoking large worlds in small solos. King Kong and the sadness of unlikely yearning come touchingly alive in "Love Defined." Mr. Goldhuber's guitar-playing old woman in "Soy (I Am)" suggests a range of emotions and also, cleverly, of early modern-dance images.

Mr. Goldhuber plays the bemused referee of a sensual boxing match in Nuria Olive-Belles's stylish film, "The Fight," and makes nuzzling love to Heidi Latsky with his head in Gretchen Bender's stylized "Head Duet," also a film.   February 9, 2001






Review No. 25   Posted: May 16, 2005
Lawrence Goldhuber/BIGMANARTS   Danspace Project
May 13, 2005


Exhilarating! Lawrence Goldhuber's new dance drama, Julius Caesar Superstar, does everything on a grand scale. Sure the piece has a cast of heavyweights playing Roman senators who, like the famously portly Goldhuber, carry considerable heft either through natural endowment or fat-suit enhancement, but that's not what I'm talking about.

By "everything" I mean choreography, musical score, video, lighting, and costumes-all contributing generously to a great, sweeping work that comes on like a vest-pocket Broadway smash, all packed into the space of an hour. The production moves swifter than you might expect and never flags-just like Goldhuber and his senatorial co-conspirators. Even its excesses seem purposeful. That's some kind of magic!


Julius Caesar Superstar takes us back in time to make a point about the present. The clownish Roman senators-among them the delightful Goldhuber, Thom Fogarty, and Rhetta Aleong (yes, a woman in drag), open the evening with lively and intricate  circle dances, red-trimmed togas aswirl. Their joyous dancing spans the length of Danspace's floor and, along with Kathy Kaufmann's lighting, opens it up and enlivens it in ways I've never seen before. In fact, nearly every part of the space gets pressed into service-the arched, stained-glass windows momentarily illuminated, the balcony visited by trumpeters to herald the approach of a war hero, the sanctuary steps turning into a sybaritic, raunchy display, the risers  transformed by a wide scrim into the steamy baths where towel-draped senators casually stroll, snooze, and plot revolution.


Julius Caesar Superstar, played by that good-looking ballet superstar Robert LaFosse (ABT, New York City Ballet, Tharp), is attended by bare-legged prancing soldiers. (Or should that be, soldiers with invisible prancing horses?) These are played, in snappy high spirits, by Arthur Aviles, Alberto Denis, Marcelo Rueda Duran, and Valentin Ortolaza, Jr. Let's support  our troops and praise these wonderful guys. Not only are they brilliant as Roman guards but they take other roles, too. As boy servants, for instance, they have their own ritualistic circle dance (with wine vessels) featuring comely, synchronized moves and delicate crossing steps. Goldhuber's work here is particularly gorgeous and witty. Later, the four will also play classical sculptures in the bath-how do they hold those contorted poses so long?-as well as Abu Ghraib-type  guards and political convention cheerleaders.


And then there's Micki Wesson, the real heavyweight of the show-moral heavyweight, that is. As the mysterious soothsayer, she points her crooked staff, silently speaking truth to power. She's got Caesar in her sights. He may cackle in scorn, but he's a goner.

The senators, realizing that Caesar is a drunken, power-mad libertine, begin to plot against him, distancing themselves from him as he lolls about in the steam of the bath. For some dazzling moments, the scrim displays a black-and-white video of LaFosse's face with a paranoid or death-mask expression. The image is huge. Its cold glow spills from the scrim onto the wooden floor, making the entire scene vibrate with light.


Fast forward to America of the McCarthy-ite '50s. Caesar, stripped down to a loincloth, gets roughed up by a pack  of senators (wardrobe updated to slacks, shirts, suspenders, and ties). He's stabbed numerous times. Goldhuber kisses him square on the mouth-hard and long-before driving home the fatal wound. Caesar survives long enough to play out a rather involved death scene culminating in a beauty of a duet with Keely Garfield as a severe but loving Lady Macbeth.  What? You don't think that Lady Macbeth might greet Julius Caesar at Death's door and help him cross over? Listen, they're terrific together!


In the twinkling of an eye, we're at a red-white-and-blue political convention complete with sparkling confetti.  Which party? Maybe it doesn't matter. But the big number-"Can't You Feel the Brand-New Day?"-intensely  sung by conventioneers who seem just short of rage, is entirely too reminiscent of Bush's oft-repeated "Freedom's  on the march in Iraq!"

Goldhuber now wears Caesar's wreath. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

©Eva Yaa Asantewaa,






You can't exactly say that Lawrence Goldhuber is coming out as a fat dancer. He did that without explanation years ago in the company of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane. And we loved him for it. But in When the World Smells Like Bacon, part of his P.S. 122 program earlier this month, Goldhuber good-humoredly explained his heredity (holding up pictures that showed the achievement and disappointing aftermath of his teen years in weight reduction camps) and humiliating performing experiences, while tantalizing us with the smell of bacon he's frying up for a BLT. Just so we know what he feels like every day. He also runs us through his career as a successful heavyweight in a collage of '80s TV commercials edited by David Brooks. He's a knockout as the Lotus salesman leading an entire office staff in a jubilant, it's-changed-our-lives dance.

Goldhuber uses his size (and gender) to more poignant effect in the 1998 Soy (I am) choreographed with erstwhile partner Heidi Latsky. In this he's an old woman in a head shawl, holding a guitar and undulating massive hips, while Lola Beltran's taped voice sings mournfully of solitude. Scrubbing the floor with her skirt, reverently covering her guitar with her scarf, this woman enters your mind and won't get out. Goldhuber reminds us how wonderfully Jones featured his bulk in a sad King Kong solo from Jones's 1992 Love Defined.

Some pieces have nothing to do with Goldhuber's physique. In Gretchen Bender's film Head Duet, he and Latsky nuzzle each other and entwine lovingly, the camera watching from very close or from above. In the charming new Dances With Wolves, he and Keely Garfield play off one another in a sour Fred-and-Ginger routine, the pair's superb comic timing and performance subtleties a delight. Amid clever white fabric columns by Gisela Stromeyer, they traverse the dance floor with tiny, well-behaved steps that include a little rhythmic hiccup as a sign of trouble to come. He lifts her, and both look pleased. Next minute, they're yanking each other into huge, clumsy leaps. Refinement only temporarily masks rage and confusion. In the end, she shreds his credit card.

FEBRUARY 27, 2001








7 Choreographers Pick a Sin and Run With It


BECKET, Mass. — A good time was had by nearly all on Sunday afternoon when "The Seven Deadly Sins" spilled out across the stage of the Ted Shawn Theater at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Many in the audience rose in a standing ovation. And the performers and choreographers seemed to have had a lot of fun putting this oddity together. But the parts amounted to less than one might have expected.

Ballet choreographers have been drawn like lemmings to "The Seven Deadly Sins" since the 1933 production by George Balanchine, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Always difficult, the piece has now drawn seven modern-dance and Broadway choreographers, each of whom chose a sin and created a free-standing dance of 10 minutes or less in a well-staged suite. Some episodes were fascinating. Most had little to do with the sin at hand.

Richard Move's "Lust" was the most Brechtian of the pieces, and Mr. Move drew a stunning performance from Helene Alexopoulos, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. A Dresden shepherdess of a ballerina, Ms. Alexopoulos was a figure of broken sensuality in a long, slow-moving solo in which she remained in a pitiless spot of white light at the front of the dark stage.

Taped phone-sex advertisements and conversations set the context before they were overtaken by crackling static. Dressed in a delicately sexy black-and-white body stocking designed by Pilar Limosner, Ms. Alexopoulos seemed at first glance a beautifully lithe creature who oozed the requisite heat.

Mr. Move made the most of the ugliness of ballerinas' knotted feet, however, slowly allowing Ms. Alexopoulos's large bare feet and hands and weirdly double-jointed arms to take over the dance. By the end, as she reached out in a beautifully timed split- second appeal, Ms. Alexopoulos seemed a malfunctioning robot as devastating as Paul Taylor's Big Bertha but full of pathos, a lost object of anonymous lust.

The solo needed tightening. The brief appearance of two paparazzi was puzzling. Mr. Move needs to upgrade the black wig, and Ms. Alexopoulos should shed her wedding ring at the next performance. But this was otherwise first-rate work from both.

Chet Walker's "Anger," set to music by Astor Piazzolla, was a seething Broadway tango danced by Ms. Alexopoulos, Robert La Fosse, Desmond Richardson and Rasta Thomas, an exquisite young ballet dancer too seldom seen on New York stages. Annie-B Parson created a complete bizarre little world in "Greed," set to music by John Zorn and Weill, in which five women squabbled over several small well-chosen props. The wonderfully brazen performers were Tymberly Canale, Molly Hickok, Kate Johnson, Krissy Richmond and Rebecca Wisocky, the Sandra Bernhard of dance.

Dancing Hershey Kisses, brilliantly costumed by Liz Prince, were a high point of the afternoon in Lawrence Goldhuber's "Gluttony," set to music by Mark Mothersbaugh and Yello. Their giddy bourrées and Chinese ribbon dancing were brilliantly conceived by Mr. Goldhuber, who, dressed in a fat suit, fell asleep at a picnic and dreamed of a priapic hot- dog and two nuzzling drumsticks.

David Dorfman's "Sloth" got off to a witty start but soon fell apart in a tangle of clever in-jokes and other verbal play. And Jamie Bishton's "Envy" would have been much stronger if he had limited the piece to the audition it started out as. Mr. La Fosse's "Pride," set to music by C&C Music Factory with appropriately fabulous costumes by Karl Lucifeld, was a knock-'em-dead finale, complete with mirror ball and gold curtain. But less naïve nose-thumbing would have made "Pride" even more fun.

The dynamic lead cast was completed by Paul Matteson and Stephanie Liapis.      

July 17, 2001









Bodies, Imperfect but Still Moving



The specter that has dared not speak its name has become almost voluble in recent years in dance. Bodies that would once have been considered imperfect — fat, disabled or old — are now in unselfconscious evidence in work that makes a virtue of their imperfection. That was the case with performances last month by Lawrence Goldhuber and Homer Avila.

Watching such bodies in action, one can often savor movement in unexpected and newly thought-provoking ways. But pity the hapless dance writer and, by extension, the general dance audience. The loud-and-proud presence of imperfection on the dance stage can be unnerving, and certainly seems to be giving the self- appointed guardians of the imperfect a new lease on life.

Classical ballet has to a large extent remained the province of perfection, at least in New York City. Jobs are hard to come by for dancers who do not have the properly slender, elongated bodies. A case may be made for perfect-looking bodies in ballet, however, given the stringent demands of the classical technique.

It would be hard for a prince to lift a 300-pound swan queen up toward a figurative new dawn or for that prince, now one-legged, to tear across the stage in soaring leaps and elegant landings driven by the fever of love. Even in non-narrative ballets, the speed and lightness that in part define the art would be difficult for our 300-pound ballerina or her one-legged male colleague to meet.

Modern dance has been more forgiving. Isadora Duncan was not a sylph. That was part of her point. Small, compactly built dancers who bore a passing resemblance to fire hydrants were not unknown in the modern dance of the 1930's. What mattered most was the emotion or point of view that they or their dancing communicated. As modern dance and ballet threw over the narrative in favor of pure movement over the second half of the last century, the need grew for dancers who could pass as athletes of God, as Martha Graham put it. But the less perfect athletes of the everyday help us to make the most of movement for its own sake.

One of the happiest surprises of my four decades or so of concentrated dancegoing was the sight, in 1988, of Mr. Goldhuber's monumental body rolling onto the stage at City Center in a piece choreographed by Bill T. Jones. For most of his career in dance, Mr. Goldhuber has weighed in at around 350 pounds. Reassuringly, perhaps, he was then considered an actor who had somehow wandered into the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. By the time audiences got used to Mr. Jones's idea that just about any body could be valuably expressive, Mr. Goldhuber, who performed last month with Keely Garfield at the Duke on 42nd Street, had become an artist of considerable depth and refinement without losing any of the excitement of his dancing.

For it is exciting to witness a bulky body darting and hurtling through space or simply claiming the stage with majestic stillness, notwithstanding the letter writer who complained about my description of Alexandra Beller, another Jones-Zane graduate, as "roly-poly" in a review of a recent program of her savvy dances. (Then there are the letter-writing psychotherapists dismayed at unadulterated praise for anorexic-looking ballerinas.)

Performers like Mr. Goldhuber and Ms. Beller, both of them chubbier than the norm in dance, encourage a full and uncomplicated luxuriating in momentum, so central to the notion of dance. Conversely, wheelchair dancing seems to me to beg the question. Wheelchairs, like ice skates, give the performer an extra degree of glide. But how much more interesting to see Bruce Jackson, a performer of unforgettable authority, create vibrant art out of dance based in his pulling a sweater onto his spasm-wracked body in a 1995 performance with Teri Carter's Mobility Junction Dance Company.

It was with considerable trepidation that I went to a program presented late last month by Mr. Avila and Edisa Weeks. This was Mr. Avila's formal return to dance after losing a leg and part of a hip to cancer last year. The evening promised to be rough going for anyone who, like me, feels faint at the sight of a paper cut. But "Not/Without Words," a new two-part solo choreographed and performed by Mr. Avila, burrowed into dance in a way that communicated the pleasure of the movement that is its heart.

Simple and mostly direct, the solo did not attempt to make up for the absence of Mr. Avila's leg. The piece focused first on the sentient muscles of Mr. Avila's lithe back, picked out by a soft spotlight as he hunched on the dark stage, then went on to make dance of the ways his body rose, fell and traveled, without the aid of crutches and with very few of the expected, dreaded hops. His spins and kneeling veered close to the kind of tricks beloved of ballet pyrotechnicians, though clearly such complicated moves have a rightful place in his vocabulary.

Understandably but regrettably, Mr. Avila seems intent on doubling as a spokesman for the disabled. His use of a hearing-impaired composer for "Not/Without Words" suggested that he means to make a point, as he did with his charming insistence on lifting the dancer who had just lifted him in the improvisational audience participation piece that ended the evening. The message of that piece seemed to be that we are all dancers. But we are not, even in a time that welcomes supposed imperfection.

Or perhaps the message is that we are all in some way wounded. We live, after all, in a time when New York subway riders are encouraged to keep the city strong by seeking counseling for lingering feelings of post- Sept. 11 malaise. In her thought-provoking 1995 essay "Discussing the Undiscussable," the former New Yorker critic Arlene Croce sounded a useful warning about art that draws attention to victimhood. Ms. Croce's warning was muffled by the angry response to her intended review of Mr. Jones's "Still/ Here," a piece that she had not seen in which the seriously ill were enlisted as performers in a piece about illness.

"I can live with the flabby, the feeble, the scoliotic," Ms. Croce wrote. "But with the righteous I cannot function at all." I'm with her there. With dancers and choreographers like Mr. Goldhuber, Mr. Avila and Ms. Carter, one can forget for the moment about imperfection as a sociopolitical construct and delight in its unsuspected connections to movement, performing and the art of dance.









The Red People from Merdith Monk's

Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim Museum
with Kate Valk, Gideon Crevoshay, Clarinda MacLow, LG



























































































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