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A 25-year journey from sass to class

<p>Closing out his 25th season, Stephen Petronio provides a retrospective of sorts: gorgeous dances ranging from the 1986 solo “#3” to the new “Ghostown.” His company of 11, the men as leggy and elegant as the women (and often substantially more exposed), lead us through an archeological dig. They revisit the brassy disco sensibility of 20 years ago in “Middlesex Gorge,” with girls in skimpy, black leotards and boys in corsets, their behinds bare, their legs tufted with pink flowers.</p>

Closing out his 25th season, Stephen Petronio provides a retrospective of sorts: gorgeous dances ranging from the 1986 solo “#3” to the new “Ghostown.” His company of 11, the men as leggy and elegant as the women (and often substantially more exposed), lead us through an archeological dig. They revisit the brassy disco sensibility of 20 years ago in “Middlesex Gorge,” with girls in skimpy, black leotards and boys in corsets, their behinds bare, their legs tufted with pink flowers.


After pieces to insistent anthems like Wire’s “Ambitious Plus” and Radiohead’s “Creep,” for which the lyrics seem to provide narrative, Petronio breaks out in “Ghostown,” to the swoony, swoopy orchestral sounds of Jonny Greenwood’s “Popcorn Superhet Receiver.”


Here Jillian Lewis’ floaty, layered costumes underline the dance’s theme. The performers frequently look away from us, frustrating our desire to see their faces, to sense what they’re feeling. They blow in from the wings, cluster and separate, their bodies exposed but their faces obscured, their intentions foggy. Both men and women wear curious black appliques on the tender flesh of their inner thighs, evoking images of wild things in a forest.

 
 
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