Erica Getto’s writing about dance has appeared in the NYR Daily, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications. (April 2020)


‘Don’t Write on Here, Bad Girl’

Yvonne Rainer (left) performing ‘Corridor Solo’ and ‘Crawling Through’ from Parts of Some Sextets at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut, 1965

Work 1961–73

by Yvonne Rainer

Parts of Some Sextets, 1965/2019

a performance by Yvonne Rainer at the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, New York City, November 15–17, 2019
In March 1965 the choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer went to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, to premiere what she described as “a dance for ten people and twelve mattresses.” It was called Parts of Some Sextets. In the performance, she and nine other participants moved at thirty-second intervals …


‘A Delightful Flurry of Movement’: Dances to Bach

Dancers Christine Flores and Melissa Toogood, with Simone Dinnerstein at the piano, in New Work for Goldberg Variations, the Joyce Theater, New York, 2019

Simone Dinnerstein anchors New Work for Goldberg Variations from center stage, where she plays Bach’s familiar score from a glossy black piano, while the dancers—five women, one man, all frequent collaborators of Tanowitz’s—join her in gauzy tunics and pants from the costume designers Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung. Brushed vertically in dusty blues, yellows, and reds, their attire recalls ribbon candy. As they dart behind the piano, lunge upstage, and form, then disband, a constellation of partnerships, the lighting design by Davison Scandrett casts their movements in bursts of vivid ruby and lemon.

Dancing to the Rhythms of Robert Walser

Daniel Pettrow, Maile Okamura, David Barlow, and Maira Kalman in Dance Heginbotham's HERZ SCHMERZ, October 2019

For HERZ SCHMERZ, John Heginbotham and Maira Kalman, the latter of whom appears in the piece, have strung together a series of vignettes inspired by Robert Walser’s writings that flicker with joy, frustration, and humor. The performance incorporates movement and spoken text—drawn heavily from the Walser short story “Nervous,” a monologue about aging and unease—to depict scenes of unfettered play and immobilizing distress. It’s a compassionate, tender treatment of mortality, but one that eschews the self-effacing understatements that are fundamental to Walser’s writing. Though HERZ SCHMERZ captures some of the more subtle pangs of delight and disappointment that underpin Robert Walser’s work, the performance resonates more as a homage to the writer than as a translation of his work.