One Scandalous Movement

Few dance troupes possess the elegance, humor, and subversive sensuality necessary to approach the Bloomsbury Set as subject matter, but it is a milieu in which Jenny McAllister’s 13th Floor Dance Theater thrives. Directed like a reality TV show from 1922, Bloomsbury/It’s Not Real captures the connections and collisions of one of England’s most influential groups of intellectuals. Appearances by Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster might be expected, but one man truly embodies the spirit and tone of Bloomsbury: critic Lytton Strachey. Openly queer within his circle, Strachey had a constant companion in Dora Carrington, a female artist who later married Strachey’s younger male paramour. But theirs was not the only love-triangle within the group. Modern views on feminism, pacifism, art, and science naturally led to very modern views of sex. All of which makes for good TV, and dance. As for comedy, Strachey possessed a rare flair for making prose physical. Of a certain socialite he once wrote, “Lady Hester’s was a nose of wild ambitions, of pride growing fantastical, a nose that scorned the earth, shooting off, one fancies, towards some eternally eccentric heaven. It was a nose, in fact, altogether in the air.” Strachey was a genius, but if anyone can set a nose to dance, it’s Jenny McAllister. Expect fluidity, floridity, and a lot of fun.
Sat., April 28, 8 p.m., 2012

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