Repertory - Active - Beauty

Beauty is a provocative dance/theater work exploring the American notion of female beauty through the lens of Barbie. Movement vocabulary is derived from an investigation of Barbie's limited, robotic abilities contrasted with a fully expressive dance vocabulary. Beauty includes a Barbie beauty contest and an intimate encounter between Barbie and Ken. During the course of the evening, we become acquainted with the performers as Barbie dolls, as contestants, as characters with beauty aspirations, and as the dancers behind all these personas.

- Click here to watch the Beauty trailer -

New York Premiere: La MaMa E.T.C. 2012

First Performances: Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival July 2011
Direction: Jane Comfort
Choreography: Jane Comfort and Company
Dramaturgy:  Anne Davison
Sets and Costumes: Liz Prince
Lighting Design: David Ferri
Sound Design: Brandon Wolcott

Original Cast:
Lucie Baker
Leslie Cuyjet
Sean Donovan
Ellie Harrison

Meredith Riley Stewart
Petra van Noort

Funding: 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts 2011

"Fantastic and fascinating...Like the best of dance theater, "Beauty isn't preachy. Instead Comfort creates a space for viewers to think about women, bodies, and society while watching movement..."Beauty" is right on." — The Washington Post

"The aptly named Comfort approaches the subject matter of her dances with gentle humor and nostalgia. Tiptoeing into areas where some might fear to tread - cosmetic surgery, a possibly comatose child - Comfort makes even Barbie a sympathetic character" — The Boston Globe

"It's a work of extremes — extreme appearances, extreme movement, and extreme discomfort as we observe how universally we are all implicated in the perpetuation of these unnatural ideals. Comfort's choreographic voice is articulate, insightful, and strong, and her medium (the dancers, movements, sounds, and visual elements of her work) communicates a series of messages that beg and deserve to be heard." — The Rogovoy Report

"The dramaturgy behind Jane Comfort's gimlet-eyed pageant in Beauty, on delicious display at Jacob's Pillow Doris Duke Theatre this past week, is spot-on. Petra van Noort is coached in the hyperfeminine lexicon of the catwalk. Svelte, young Lucie Baker has her body redrawn with a black marker to refine it for the plastic surgeon's scalpel. Leslie Cuyjet's glamorous image is Photoshopped, click after click, to refresh as thinner, taller, and whiter-skinned until the model is unrecognizable.…seeing the work with a live audience was a revelation. Gasps and sighs around me conveyed that the facts of the soul-killing self-appraisal that has become part and parcel of the beauty trade are not all common knowledge." — thephoenix.com


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