Sticks and bones

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  March 20, 2009

There's a long series of strenuous duets by the four male dancers. They hold and lift and carry each other, but the progression of movement is interrupted at strategic intervals, so your eye lingers on dramatic moments of surprise, grasping, pushing away, embracing, caressing that you might miss if the dancing were continuous. The duets have atomized into erotic encounters.

Watching these passing scenes, the puppet discovers he's gay, and all six dancers manipulate him in a triumphant and amazingly realistic dance. He falls in love at last, with one of the dancers, and they do a tender duet together.

Wonderboy has a tone of rapt discovery that I found slightly unconvincing. "Something so precious, so real!" coos the puppet, viewing the men's duets. I loved the theatrical ingenuity of the piece, but the sentiment seemed drawn from another era. It was like revisiting the Haight-Ashbury in the Days of Harvey Milk.

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article theJapanese puppet theater bunraku was misspelled as bugaku. The correction has been made above.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
Related: 2009: The year in dance, The other side of heavy, High stepping, More more >
  Topics: Dance , Northeastern University, Kelley Donovan, Kelley Donovan,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MARCIA B. SIEGEL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MARK MORRIS'S SOCRATES, THE MUIR, AND FESTIVAL DANCE  |  May 22, 2012
    Erik Satie called his vocal work Socrate a "symphonic drama," though it's anything but dramatic in a theatrical sense — or symphonic, either.
  •   JOFFREY BALLET GETS ITS DUE  |  May 08, 2012
    New York has two great ballet companies, New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theater. Any other ballet troupe that wants to put down roots there has to develop a personality that's distinct from those two.
  •   THE BOSTON BALLET’S DON QUIXOTE  |  May 01, 2012
    In the long string of ballet productions extracted from Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote, the delusional Don has become a minor character, charging into situations where he shouldn't go and causing trouble instead of good works.
  •   THE TREY MCINTYRE PROJECT IGNITES THE ICA  |  March 21, 2012
    When Trey McIntyre found a base for his infant company in Boise, Idaho, four years ago, eyebrows lifted in the dance world.
  •   BALLET HISPANICO FALLS SHORT  |  March 13, 2012
    All three dances presented by Ballet Hispanico at the Cutler Majestic last weekend depended heavily on costume effects to convey their messages.

 See all articles by: MARCIA B. SIEGEL