Last night I spent the evening with the board of directors of Jennifer Muller’s dance company. Was this coincidental or the result of mischief on the part of the PR person? We’ll never know, but irrespective of how i found myself keeping such company at the Joyce and then Tavern on the Green, I will say that I enjoyed them. Especially a certain Ernie Miller III, who in good spirits became my platonic date as both his wife and my friend had piked.
Among the most charming of my companions, Ernie aside, was Jennifer Muller herself, we shared a breather outside at the end of the night and bonded around our love for Joni Mitchel. One of the new pieces in series B of her Joyce shows, entitled Tangle is danced to Joni and takes its inspiration from the mixed-up love line, “I love you when I forget about me.”
This reminds me of sordid car trips with a distant ex and more recent beautiful drives to Woodstock. Jennifer was strikingly down to earth, very open and accessible. She has been choreographing since before I was born and she described to me the way that her piece Tub was originally considered to be completely radical. This was a shocking idea that a tub filled with real water could be placed on stage aiding dancers to perform wet! The power of it still remains today even if the novelty factor has expired.
Opening with Tub and moving into Bench and Walk it Out, program A, which was performed last night, was fresh, interrogative and engaging accross the spectrum of audience age and dance literacy. Unlike Molly Davies, this performance was fun, accesible and clearly symbolic. When Bench references environmental degradation, specifically the various present and approaching ravishes of global warming, there is no confusion about what is being said. Theory is most powerful when it is deftly expressed and this is certainly acheived by Jennifer Muller.