Song and Dance
Anima Mundi Dance Company's Deep North, the first in a series called "Choreographers in Collaboration" at Center for the Arts, has been canceled. The show was scheduled for September, and according to Center for the Arts spokesman David Perry, dropping it from the lineup was a mutual decision: "It was not coming together like either party wanted, so we were forced to cancel.
But Anima Mundi choreographer Kathryn Roszak disagrees. She concedes that there was a glitch in the work's development - the featured performer, Sami artist Mari Boine, had to cancel - but Roszak says that her group found an equivalent replacement immediately and that the show could have gone on had Center for the Arts not dragged its feet in approving the new Sami artist, musician and actor Ingor Antte Ailu Gaup.
As to whether it was a mutual cancellation, Roszak says: "The show was first canceled by the center in fax form, and we had to fight to get them to consider this artist. Then there was such a lengthy delay that we couldn't go ahead with it." (Ultimately, the replacement artist was no longer available.)
Roszak speculates that it was the change in artist that spooked the center, but adds, "Neither of these artists are known in this country, neither of them are Barbara Streisand, so this response is bizarre."
The dispute ended in a small monetary settlement awarded to Anima Mundi; fortunately, the show will still go up at LaMaMa Theatre in New York. Roszak says she hopes that Center for the Arts will re-evaluate the way it treats its artists; Perry points out that the rest of the series will proceed as scheduled, and adds, "We have nothing but respect for Kathryn's work." (By the way, the Sami people, formerly known as the Lapps, live in Samiland, located in the Artic in the northernmost reaches of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.)
Prop shopping can be such fun. In Ellen Boscov's new show, Dillsberry, U.S.A., opening at the Marsh this week, a leather-clad ghost showers an all-American town with lingerie. To acquire the necessary 250 pieces, Boscov hit up her own collection, her cast's collection, then invested in numerous "grab bags" from Frederick's of Hollywood. While pursuing the items. Boscov decided to try on an odd-looking shirt - only to discover it was actually crotchless pantyhose, and that her head was poking through the missing crotch.