My favorite work of the first program (“Lucinda Childs, A Portrait 1963-2016”) of a two-part Lucinda Childs retrospective now on at the Joyce Theater was Radial Courses (1976), a hugely fun, tongue-in-cheek, pretzel-puzzle of a dance.
Promenading at a clipped pace, four tidily attired male dancers circumscribe a large oval shape. As the British love to put it: horses for courses.
Slowly slowly, bit by bit, in pops an embellished phrase, like a hiccup, but it adds syncopation and form. Then we’ve got some major looping going on, with subtle changes of direction and pairing. It’s seductively rhythmic, tortuously long, and beautifully delivered by a quartet of Childs dancers Lonnie Poupard Jr., Matt Pardo, Vincent McCloskey, and Patrick John O’Neill. The guys nary miss a beat — and it looks really hard to remember! Enduring its pleasures, you’re tempted to march right out of the theater and, at a clipped rate, proceed in formation up Eighth Avenue.
More Childs works will be on view at the Joyce in part two of the retrospective, “Dance,” through next weekend. Going!
photo credit: John Sisley
The Lucinda Childs Dance Company | Joyce Theater | thru Dec. 11