New York Press

Spatial Influence: Choreography in New York
Volume 21, 2005
Jenn Joy

Half Space (2005) choreographed and performed by robbinschilds explores a fantastical relationship to architecture transforming the stage of Dance Theater Workshop into a hotel ballroom. Emerging from a pile of carpets, Robbins and Childs, confound easy representation, their bodies camouflauged like textiles within the space. Similar to robbinschilds earlier work Broque (2004), where the dancers costumes mimicked the patterning on the walls, their gestures constrained by the narrow hallway, Half Space uses a low-hanging chandelier and piles of gilded chairs to evoke a campy narrative more spatial than emotional. Inspired by the endless repetition and strange anonymity of hotel hallways, Half Space renders and alluring attachment of subjects to space. Limiting their movements to the floor, Robbins and Childs slowly shift from the carpet pile, along the floor, and under the chandelier. Their restrained horizantality punctuated by Michael Helland's angular and gigantic steps as he unrolls another red carpet, and the abrupt verticality of Leslie Kraus being thrown into the precariously balanced chairs. The dancers inhabitation of fictional architecture images an aesthetic entrapment, yet it also unsettles recognizable patterns and useful labour. The dancers simultaneously become object-sculptures and subject-architectures, animating a physical possibility for destabilizing structural expectations.

« back to index