A pioneering member of the influential Judson Dance Theatre, David Gordon is known for his elegant, smart, and often wry work. Classically trained dancer Valda Setterfield is blessed with long tapered limbs and an appealing patrician demeanor. She is also a gifted actress as well as being Gordon's partner, on stage and off, for more than 40 years.
It's fitting that Gordon will direct, choreograph, and perform in his version of Ionesco's iconic play, The Chairs. Chairs have been central to his convention-busting dance and theater work from the beginning--as objects, sculptures, even dancing partners. The two-character play typifies Ionesco's Absurdist take that life is ultimately without meaning or purpose.
After 75 years of wedded misery, The Old Man (Gordon) and Old Woman (Setterfield) endeavor to share their collective wisdom with others before they die. Composer Michael Gordon's score for solo cello and Jennifer Tipton's expressive lighting form the space into which the couple drags chair after chair in anticipation of an audience that never arrives. It's a collision of movement and words--in a new translation by Michael Feingold--that builds to a chaotic and devastating finish.