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Flash Review 3, 2-6: 'Bacon' Phat
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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