Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Avignon–New York

The Festival d'Avignon has just started. Just check out its program and compare it with what we're getting at the Lincoln Center Festival. Fine, I understand bringing over Zingaro would make the Lincoln Center's coffers explode (our favorite uptowners are probably still paying some of the bills incurred last year by Théâtre du Soleil's epic, fantastic Le Dernier Caravansérai), but surely it can't be that expensive to produce something by Edward Bond, whose work is scarce in New York. And I can't fathom why LC isn't inviting Alain Platel and his Ballets C. de la B. The company is travelling to Montreal, Ottawa and Mexico City this year, but no sightings in the US. Instead, it'd be easy to think that Mark Morris and Ohad Naharin are the only two choreographers LC likes enough to invite over and over and over.

Or perhaps BAM could book Platel (whose Wolf is pictured) instead of—or in addition to—the increasingly jejune Pina Bausch. I understand she sells tickets but we need new blood, people! When was the last time a BAM or Lincoln Center Festival show made your stomach lurch, either in agony or in ecstasy? We got spoiled with Théâtre du Soleil in 2005, but this should make us even more nitpicky as we demand of our so-called cultural institutions that they kick the anthill of diminished expectations.

I have no idea how my mind jumped from the LC Festival to this, but the new Justin Timberlake single, "SexyBack," is disappointingly half-baked. Timbaland is obviously trying to build up on his Nelly Furtado success, but this new collaboration only comes across like a male version of Avenue D—except not nearly as fun. The Timbalake sounds as if it's trying way too hard, which is the exact opposite of sexy, front or back.

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