Arts An Open Letter to Donald Byrd and the Dance Critics at the Times and PI
posted by March 26 at 11:05 AMon
Dear Donald Byrd:
Never-Mind last weekend at the Moore was shameful. Awful, boring, insulting. And a waste of the on-stage talent.
Choreographing to Nirvana? Great. (Though your picks were a little juvenileómostly the abrasive tracks, as if you were less interested in exploring the music than making the dance fuddy-duddies squirm. Am I right, Donald?) The background dancers? Okay. (Though their spasming and hurling upstage through Pennyroyal Tea was distracting and too goddamned literal.)
But the Kurt and Courtney characters? Fucking awful. Awfuller than I can express. Those poor, capable, misused dancers. Never has so much technical ability been blown on something so vapid. It was like watching Virginia Woolf being forced to write greeting cards.
The bad wigs, the floppy flannel, the eyeliner, the lip synching, the ripped jeans, the bad wigs, the freeze-frame silent screams, the heavy-handed boring-ass literalism, the tired Courtney-killed-Kurt overtones, the shotgun blasts, the whole goddamned thing was an embarrassment. I say this as an admirer, Donald: Do yourself a favor and please, please, please don’t ever mount Never-Mind ever again.
The first two acts were greatóthe short dance vignettes over Mystikal’s aggro-rap were weird and fun. Your spazzy techno-nightmare remix of the 1841 ballet Giselle (with vampire ghost ladies!) was awesomely creepy and heartbreaking:
You’re great, Donald. A gutsy, shit-talking, my-way kind of guy. I’m glad you’re around.
But walk away from Never-Mind. Pretend it was a fever dream. Act like it never happened.
“Byrd at his best”? The “spot-on grunge-rock costumes”?
Are you all fucking nuts?