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Flash Review 3, 2-6:
Goldhuber Tackles Weighty Issues
By Ursula Eagly
Copyright 2001 Ursula Eagly
Lawrence Goldhuber is
fat. And he's not going to let you forget it. In "When the
World Smells Like Bacon" and Other Works at P.S. 122 last weekend,
Goldhuber opened the evening with the eponymous 'Bacon' piece, a
confessional monologue delivered while dancing and cooking a BLT.
He spoke a bit about his non-Kosher eating habits, his Jewish roots,
and the impact the Holocaust had on his extended family. But mostly
he talked about his weight and how it has affected his career as
an actor and dancer. Goldhuber has accumulated several demoralizing
anecdotes over the years, including being the subject of the tabloid
article "350 lb. Dancer is a Giant Success!" But his weight has
also been a tremendous asset, rocketing him to modern dance stardom.
As he once explained to an angry director, "I know I'm not the greatest
dancer in the world. I just know I'm the only 350-pound guy out
there doing it."
Because of the confessional
nature of the first work, subsequent pieces held more meaning biographically
than artistically. In the film "The Fight," Goldhuber referees a
dreamlike homoerotic boxing match. "Soy" (I am) features Goldhuber
in drag as a peasant woman swaying to folkloric songs. A screening
of 1985 commercials for Western Union, Era Plus detergent, etc.
is a Where's Waldo-esque game of find-the-fat-man. The film "Head
Duet" shows Goldhuber in what looks like a contact improvisation
with Heidi Latsky, his artistic partner. An excerpt from Bill T.
Jones's "Love Defined" gives the audience the chance to finally
see Goldhuber dance in person.
The premiere of "Dances
With Wolves" closes the program. The work is choreographed and performed
by Goldhuber and Keely Garfield, a relatively petite woman who offsets
her partner's corpulence. Clad in formal evening wear, the two waltz
around P.S. 122's Dr. Seuss-like columns. When Goldhuber tries to
put the moves on Garfield, they have a melodramatic fight followed
by humorous attempts at reconciliation.
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