Claire Danes to perform Off-Broadway

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Claire Danes to perform Off-Broadway

Post by Sascha » Aug 11th 2005, 2:27 pm

Claire Danes will perform a solo dance piece at P.S. 122. Christina Olson: American Model, choreographed by Tamar Rogoff, is scheduled to run from September 22 through October 2.

Olson is best known as the woman in the pink dress depicted in Andrew Wyeth's iconic painting, Christina's World. What is less known is that she suffered from a never-diagnosed muscular deterioration that left her arms weak and her lower body paralyzed. Fueled by both pride and denial, Christina rejected wheelchairs and found ways to move relying only on her own strength. In Christina Olson: American Model, Danes will explore the ideas, spirit, and physicality of a woman both rejected and revered with just the movement of her body.

Danes, who performed at P.S. 122 at the age of six, rose to popularity in the mid-1990s for her Emmy nominated performance in the ABC series My So-Called Life, which was a hit with critics but was canceled after just one season. She parlayed her small screen popularity into a big screen career. Her film credits include How to Make an American Quilt, Little Women, Home for the Holidays, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, Romeo + Juliet, U Turn, The Rainmaker, Les Miserables, The Mod Squad, Brokedown Palace, Igby Goes Down, The Hours, It's All About Love, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Stage Beauty. Her next film Shopgirl will be released in the U.S. on October 21.

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Post by Mr.Brightside » Aug 30th 2005, 12:12 am

I really wanna see it. I'm gonna try and get tickets tomorrow. Can't wait to see Claire.
"I'm miserable right now and I want everybody to recognize that", that's all any teenager wants.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Dec 6th 2005, 5:31 am

Dance Magazine had a review of this show in their November online reviews:
Christina Olsen: American Model
Choreography by Tamar Rogoff, danced by Claire Danes
P.S. 122, New York, NY
September 21–October 2, 2005
Reviewed by Carrie Stern

Sitting on one hip, legs bent to the side, back straight, actress Claire Danes pulls her head sideways, her long, wispy, blonde ponytail twisted in her hands. Danes’ uncanny resemblance to Christina Olsen, the mysterious subject of Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World, inspired choreographer Tamar Rogoff. The work’s small but powerful vocabulary of simple, recurring movements and phrases suggests Olsen’s crippled reality, her struggle for independence, and her interior existence.

In life, muscular deterioration crippled Christina Olsen. In Rogoff’s work, Danes uses her arms to drag her curved body along the floor, crooked legs lagging behind. Desperate running and rhythmic, angry stamping balance against moments of calm walking and sensual rippling through the body, altered in an instant by feet that unexpectedly turn in. Another phrase begins with Dane’s back flat, her arms hanging down. Abruptly, her body tilts, her right arm almost dislocating at the shoulder as it wraps around her torso, and she walks, “hitching” one leg along.

Recalling Wyeth’s painting, video images of an old barn (by Harvey Wang and Andrew Baker) play behind Danes’ creeping body. Later a man’s face peers through a window, the image fading as Danes reads a list of Christina’s friends who marry while she does not. Christina’s inner and outer lives are suggested as Danes removes Liz Prince’s 1930s-style dress to dance in a bright turquoise slip, later covering the slip again. Text passages from two books about Wyeth flesh out the imagery.

As Christina’s body deteriorates, her inner dance becomes brighter. Danes lies on a platform in a black slip as video footage shows her pulling herself across First Avenue and laboring up the theater steps in a stark portrayal of Christina’s reality. As the video ends Danes dances feverishly, stamping, leaning, and kicking the miked platform, which echoes with her sound. Perhaps this is Christina’s final wish—to feel her body in all its moods.

Danes, who studied dance for 10 years as a child, began taking Rogoff’s class at P.S. 122 a little over a year ago; this work grew out of their association. The actress moves well with no artifice. Most striking, though, is her focus and her willing vulnerability. When a strap on her slip accidentally breaks, she continues to dance with no visible loss of passion, afterward covering herself shyly.
You can see pictures of Claire here, here, and here.
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