Stephen Petronio: Winning by losing

The Stephen Petronio Company performs “The Architecture of Loss” and other works through Sunday.

The audience for artistic director and choreographer Stephen Petronio’s shows are almost as dazzling as the dances he creates. His husband’s a fashion exec; the opening night house included models and designers.

Onstage, we were treated to Petronio’s version of Steve Paxton’s “Intravenous Lecture,” composed in protest against censorship of a nude dance work. Petronio told a riveting story about being jailed in London for wearing an obscene homoerotic T-shirt. He did this hooked up to an IV drip, dancing as he talked.

His 2002 work “City of Twist,” with costumes by Tara Subkoff/Imitation of Christ and graphic projections by Ken Tabachnick, retrieved the tortured psychology of Manhattan in the months after 9/11, featuring the astonishing Davalois Fearon spiraling in a shredded white dress.

Wendy Whelan performed “Ethersketch I,” a brief bauble welcoming the New York City Ballet star to the modern world.

The season’s premiere, “The Architecture of Loss,” had a complex new score played live by Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurdsson. Knitted costumes by Gudrun and Gudrun and projections by Ravi Rajan of artwork by Rannvá Kinoy created a translucent environment surrounding stillness and movement. Petronio gives us much to look at and think about. 


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