This S*** Was “Beyond Us”

By Gili Malinsky

It was an evening of absurd art on Sunday, October 16th. Triskelion Arts, an organization championing New York choreography, featured a night of dance in its dramatic black box theatre (in its hip corner of Greenpoint). Hosting the event was Williamsburg Art neXus (WAX), which supports and helps produce work by emerging NYC artists. One of its flagship shows was that evening’s WAXworks, meant to offer, “new and experienced artists the opportunity to showcase work in progress on a professional stage,” according to the pamphlet. 

There were six performances, each five to twelve minutes long. The theme of the evening, I decided, was “dance without music.” Multiple performances featured dance with absolutely no music, highlights including Catie Leasca’s “glassysteel,” in which Leasca danced in pained, unsure movements to interspersed pieces of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine” and repeatedly asked the audience if we were looking at her. Janice Tomlinson’s “Beyond Us” was a fun, dance-y space battle fought by hot dancers in short spacesuits. Sometimes the audience laughed.

At the end of each performance we were given sheets of paper to write feedback on. This reporter’s feedback included, “Damn. That was painful,” and, “I guess I’m not sure where this is going.” 

Perhaps the most beautiful piece of the night was the last one, Yeujia Low’s “Tough One.” It featured four dancers dressed in red shirts and black pants, sort of swimming to Low’s Amelie-like piano playing in the back. Low danced a couple of moves from her piano stand, too. 

“I think that it’s so important to provide accessible, inclusive opportunities for emerging choreographers and for those who are workshopping new ideas,” said WAX’s Ellyn Sjoquist, our host for the evening, over email. “Sharing work at any stage, but especially in a new or unfinished form, is a vulnerable, generous choice, and WAXworks aims to provide a supportive, professional opportunity for that to happen.” 

If you’re looking for a night of weird art, check out Triskelion Arts. If you’re looking for a night of inventive performance, check out WAXworks.