Lionel Popkin: Ruth Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Lionel Popkin's art is about paradox. His dances are simultaneously low-tech and lush, questioning and funny.
The half-Jewish/half-Indian Popkin begins from this pivotal (and paradoxical) perspective to ask how our origins inform who we are, what belongs to us, and what falls outside of our claims to personal identity. For his latest work, these questions lead him to consider the truly paradoxical legacy of modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, co-founder of the famed Denishawn Company and purveyor of “Orientalism” in Western dance. Was the iconic “Miss Ruth” a trailblazer, a thief, or some odd paradoxical point on the continuum? Does a century of hindsight establish our own balance? Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore features an original score performed live by Guy Klucevsek for accordion and violin that uncannily evokes the essence of both Klezmer and Indian music, a beautiful intersection of the themes illustrated by the dance.