Company XIV’s Lover. Muse. Mockingbird. Whore. @ 303 Bond St. Theater

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Photo credit: Corey Tatarczuk

Pairing Charles Bukowski’s words with theatrical dance seems like an impossible marriage but Company XIV’s director, Austin McCormick, took on the challenge in his latest work Lover. Muse. Mockingbird. Whore. which focuses specifically on the women in Bukowski’s writing and runs through May 8th at the 303 Bond St. Theater.  The piece stars Jeff Takacs who does a wonderful job of summoning his inner Bukowski and Laura Careless who transforms herself into the many women who found themselves by the writer’s side.

The performance begins with an audio recording of Bukowski speaking before a reading which segues into Takacs reading his work which underscores how well he manages the author’s speaking style and voice.  As Careless enters she becomes the focal point and performs using a number of different creative devices ranging from a neon lined floor space, a lit vanity mirror framed by cases of blond wigs, and one of the most interesting elements, a series of video projections including text, previously recorded clips, and live footage from an adjoining apartment in a box to the left of the stage.  The interactions involving the projections and the apartment prove to be some of the most powerful as the audience is forced to view the performers through windows echoing Edward Hopper at times with lonely, solemn poses.

As the performance continues, the pace slows giving way to more intimate, seductive moments set a few feet away from the audience but unfortunately, the pacing stagnates a bit towards the end.  Overall, the hour long performance offers a number of high points despite the homogeneity and is a must see for poets and dancers alike.

Company XIV’s World Premiere of Lover. Muse. Mockingbird. Whore., a dance-theatre meditation on Charles Bukowski’s women takes place from April 15 – May 8 at the 303 Bond Street Theatre (303 Bond St. between Union & Sackett) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.companyxiv.com/.

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Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com

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