The Queer New York International Arts Festival concluded with Sujata Goel’s spellbinding Dancing Girl at Abrons Art Center on Saturday, September 27. Goel’s intelligently crafted piece reveals itself to be overlaid in various systems of physical manifestations that are reorganized and re-patterned, shifting the manner in which the viewer absorbs this information. We start in darkness, and then an arm emerges in a small band of light. It disappears and then we see two knees and feet, then a neck. These small illuminations continue and increase in frequency until the entire body of the dancer is revealed. Ms. Goel retains an engaging physical presence, expertly wielding herself on the stage while maintaing a subtle distance from it all. As the piece develops, we see the dancer move through a series of tableau that are held at various lengths and then reconfigured in tempo and order. The eye is constantly being forced to reconfigure her body and recalibrate our perception. Yap Seok Hul’s expertly executed lighting design changes and shifts as the dance continues, and it is just as responsible for telling the eye what to see. A thoughtful and unique artist, I look forward to seeing more of Sujata’s work in the future.

Photo: Rithvik Raja

Photo: Rithvik Raja


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