Pussy Control

Live sex and fresh blood blossom at Dance Theater Workshop

Potty mouths, bare breasts, naked splits, bodily fluids, and tales of incest, murder, and pedophilia filled the half-stage lily white trash world of Ann Liv Young’s “Michael” this past weekend. Like a reality porno film done in reverse—with the cum shot at the top of the action in full costume—this salacious and anti-ironic piece of… art was cathartic by virtue of putting it out there.

Will this work ever tour? Who cares?

Does DTW censor their artists as suggested by Time Out New York? What an absurd crock of loathsome shit. In fact, the single utterance of the word “nigger” was an unwarranted offense, and I wish the theater had silenced it.

While Young is precisely that, as made clear by both her use of pop music karaoke to propel the action forward and her simplistic triangle approach to choreographic staging, she nevertheless understands that along with naked bodies, you had better have some naked truth as well. Maybe Liz Santoro never gave her Grandpa head for five bucks, and Renee Archibald probably didn’t really enjoy getting fucked with a chicken leg by her Uncle, but you can pretty much bet someone has. The thrust/ing seemed to be about usurping the role of power from men with a leg held high for all to see that this pussy has teeth—all the while blaming men for their behavior.

Young, who invasively directed the action from the front row shouting “go,” occasionally walking on to give props to the performers—and once, thankfully, to escort a bleeding performer off stage—has said she is fascinated with Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears; the exact focus of that fascination remained surprisingly obscure at the work’s conclusion. Sure, with male role models like Eminem and Justin Timberlake, whose music along with Michael Jackson, A-Ha, Phil Collins, Disney, and Rogers and Hammerstein feature prominently, it was no wonder the bitch-slapping bitches settled for Michael (Trenton Duersken). While he introduced himself by ejaculating, fully dressed, against the window as he watched the girls from outside thrashing about the living room of their yellow rose wall-papered ersatz mobile home, when he or his penis was naked in their presence, they were completely under female control. Michael is a pussy, too.

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