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"first-rate theater with a surprising edge of poignancy" The New York Times




PHOTO: CAROLINE MCNAMARA



WHEN THE WORLD SMELLS LIKE BACON

PHOTO: DONA ANN MCADAMS



WHEN THE WORLD SMELLS LIKE BACON

PHOTO: DONA ANN MCADAMS



BEFORE.........................................AFTER...................................



HEAD DUET with HEIDI LATSKY

FILM IMAGE: GRETCHEN BENDER



CARICATURE by- LARA TOMLIN


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SEE VIDEO

DANCES WITH WOLVES with KEELY GARFIELD

PHOTO: DONA ANN MCADAMS



DANCES WITH WOLVES with KEELY GARFIELD

PHOTO: DONA ANN MCADAMS



SOY (I AM)

PHOTO: TOM BRAZIL




Written and performed by Lawrence Goldhuber
Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel

Commissioned by Performance Space 122 with funds from The Jerome Foundation.


Directed by Gretchen Bender
Choreographed by Goldhuber & Latsky
Music by Joe Jackson

Commisioned by The Joyce Theater Altogether Different Fund for New Works and produced with the generous support of John and Sage Cowles, Jerome Goldhuber, Pierre Apraxine, and Cindy Sherman.


Choreographed by Goldhuber & Latsky
Costume by Liz Prince
Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel
Music sung by Lola Beltran



Choreographed by Bill T. Jones
Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel
Music by Daniel Johnston

This work was originally commissioned by the Lyon Opera Ballet.


Directed by Nuria Olive-Belles
featuring Javier DeFrutos and Ramon Baeza


Performed by Keely Garfield and Lawrence Goldhuber
Choreographed by Lawrence Goldhuber with Keely Garfield
Music by Esquivel, Astaire, Khacaturian, Aretha, Elvis.
Set Design by Gisela Stromeyer
Lighting Design by Robert Wierzel

Commissioned by Performance Space 122 with funds from The Jerome Foundation. It has also been made possible by a generous space grant through the 92nd Street Y-Harkness Dance Program. (2000)


PHOTO: DONA ANN McADAMS




by Jennifer Dunning

Lawrence Goldhuber called his evening of dance "When the World Smells Like Bacon." He also made and began to eat a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on the stage in the title piece, a meditation on families, Judaism and being fat, in a program presented on Sunday night at P.S. 122.

Mr. Goldhuber, a former Bill T. Jones dancer famous for his 350-pound weight, turns such everyday topics into charmingly unassuming, first-rate theater with a surprising edge of poignancy.

The centerpiece of the program was the new "Dances With Wolves," created and performed with Keely Garfield. The two make an enjoyably sly pair of combative, nutty lovers as they glide about the floor to old and new popular favorites. It is fun to see them doing a "Fred and Ginger" every now and then in a score that includes Astaire singing "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

But even better is their comic timing and Mr. Goldhuber's small, oddly telling gestures, as when he appears to write disconsolately across the bottom of Ms. Garfield's sequined gown.

Gisela Stromeyer's simple set creates an elegant ballroom, with the bright colors of Robert Wierzel's lighting bouncing off curved fabric pillars.

Mr. Goldhuber is good at evoking large worlds in small solos. King Kong and the sadness of unlikely yearning come touchingly alive in "Love Defined." Mr. Goldhuber's guitar-playing old woman in "Soy (I Am)" suggests a range of emotions and also, cleverly, of early modern-dance images.

Mr. Goldhuber plays the bemused referee of a sensual boxing match in Nuria Olive-Belles's stylish film, "The Fight," and makes nuzzling love to Heidi Latsky with his head in Gretchen Bender's stylized "Head Duet," also a film.   February 9, 2001



by Deborah Jowitt

You can't exactly say that Lawrence Goldhuber is coming out as a fat dancer. He did that without explanation years ago in the company of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane. And we loved him for it. But in When the World Smells Like Bacon, part of his P.S. 122 program earlier this month, Goldhuber good-humoredly explained his heredity (holding up pictures that showed the achievement and disappointing aftermath of his teen years in weight reduction camps) and humiliating performing experiences, while tantalizing us with the smell of bacon he's frying up for a BLT. Just so we know what he feels like every day. He also runs us through his career as a successful heavyweight in a collage of '80s TV commercials edited by David Brooks. He's a knockout as the Lotus salesman leading an entire office staff in a jubilant, it's-changed-our-lives dance.

Goldhuber uses his size (and gender) to more poignant effect in the 1998 Soy (I am) choreographed with erstwhile partner Heidi Latsky. In this he's an old woman in a head shawl, holding a guitar and undulating massive hips, while Lola Beltran's taped voice sings mournfully of solitude. Scrubbing the floor with her skirt, reverently covering her guitar with her scarf, this woman enters your mind and won't get out. Goldhuber reminds us how wonderfully Jones featured his bulk in a sad King Kong solo from Jones's 1992 Love Defined.

Some pieces have nothing to do with Goldhuber's physique. In Gretchen Bender's film Head Duet, he and Latsky nuzzle each other and entwine lovingly, the camera watching from very close or from above. In the charming new Dances With Wolves, he and Keely Garfield play off one another in a sour Fred-and-Ginger routine, the pair's superb comic timing and performance subtleties a delight. Amid clever white fabric columns by Gisela Stromeyer, they traverse the dance floor with tiny, well-behaved steps that include a little rhythmic hiccup as a sign of trouble to come. He lifts her, and both look pleased. Next minute, they're yanking each other into huge, clumsy leaps. Refinement only temporarily masks rage and confusion. In the end, she shreds his credit card.   FEBRUARY 27, 2001




Dancing big Lawrence Goldhuber uses his large size to shed new light on dance conventions


When people come to see Lawrence Goldhuber's new solo dance performance, he hopes they'll bring an appetite.

In the title piece of "When the World Smells Like Bacon and Other Works" -- which he describes as a "dance/theatre/cooking monologue" -- Goldhuber makes a BLT onstage, including frying up a panful of bacon.

"It's about enticing the audience, and having them feel the kind of longing and desire I'm talking about in the piece," he says. "Hopefully, they haven't eaten before the show and it's really punishing."

Like a lot of Goldhuber's conversation, that last line is delivered tongue-in-cheek. He favors self-deprecation wrapped around a kernel of truth.

Goldhuber reverses the convention of the performer with the oversized ego and undersized body: At 350 pounds, he's probably the largest prominent performer in modern dance. He says he's fine with that identification, even if he's less than comfortable with the weight itself, which he's struggled with since childhood.

"I'm not uncomfortable being a large man in dance, but I'm not comfortable in my own skin," he says. "I fall into the same social pressure we all do, the images the media feeds us. I'd trade being thin for being the famous fat man in dance."

Maura Keefe, a scholar-in-residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, specializes in the relationship between dancing and talking -- one of Goldhuber's areas of expertise. "Thank goodness people out there are proposing alternate body images for audience members to connect to," she says. "Dancers come in all different sizes, just like (other) people do."

Getting into the act

After training as an actor at Boston University, Goldhuber returned to his native New York City, where he found work acting in commercials and off-off-Broadway. In 1985, he accompanied a friend to a showing of work by the acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones.

"I told him, 'If you ever need a big man, give me a call,' Goldhuber recalls. Jones called a week later, and Goldhuber danced with the Bill T. Jones/Artie Zane company for the next decade, originating roles in Jones' masterworks "Still/Here" and "Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land," among others.

Although he'd occasionally get "people looking up and down my body and not being able to compute" that he was a dancer, Goldhuber says the response to his presence in the dance world was overwhelmingly positive. In 1995, he won a Bessie Award.

"The only initially difficult aspect of joining a dance company was my own feelings about my body size and being surrounded by the paradigm of physical beauty," he says. "But that was my own mountain."

According to Keefe, the dancer's weight "doesn't seem like a limitation -- or maybe it is a limitation that forces him to think about his work in a different way."

When time off for knee surgery led to his departure from Jones' company, Goldhuber teamed up for four years with dancer Heidi Latsky, another former Jones dancer, to create and tour original works. It was a startling pairing, and critics often mentioned the element of danger inherent in watching the petite woman tangling with the massive man.

"His work with Heidi was very much about the difference in physical appearance," Keefe says, "and how different kinds of bodies can move together."

Latsky left the partnership two years ago to start a family, and Goldhuber began choreographing on his own. His "Gluttony" section for "The Seven Deadly Sins," featured dancing chicken legs, Hershey's kisses and an enormous "fat suit" that enhanced Goldhuber's girth to near-spherical proportions; it premiered at Jacob's Pillow in 2001.

He channeled the pain of the breakup with Latsky into his piece "Dances with Wolves," which he describes as "Fred and Ginger gone sour." He performs it Saturday with Keely Garfield.

Asked what it's like to perform solo after 14 years in extended, intimate collaborations, he says, "It's way more fun to perform with people, to look into someone's eyes and share that experience.

"But," he adds wryly, "it's safer to work alone -- I'm never going to leave me."

Mid-career summary

Goldhuber calls the "Bacon" show "a mid-career summary." Besides the title work -- in which he discusses his weight, his heritage, the Holocaust and the indignity of being asked to play a dancing pig -- the MASS MoCA show includes his solo as King Kong from Jones' "Love Defined," and Goldhuber dancing in the persona of a peasant woman in "Soy (I Am)."

Between the dance pieces, several short film pieces will be screened, including Goldhuber's 1980s commercial work (which he describes as " 'These garbage bags are really tough' kind of stuff") and two dance films: "The Fight," in which he plays the referee of a sensual boxing match, and "Head Duet," performed with Latsky.

Along with touring the show, which premiered in 2001, Goldhuber has been collaborating with filmmaker David Brooks on the creation of "The Life and Times of Barry Goldhubris." The new show, which opens in New York City in 2004, is about "a man whose ego gets so big it explodes," he said.

Although "Barry" clearly represents an aspect of his creator, it's certainly not the face Goldhuber shows the world. Unassuming and unpretentious, he freely admits to his limitations as a dancer, circumscribed by his age (42) and physical infirmities brought on by arthritis and two knee surgeries.

"I'm not the biggest fan of myself as a dancer, but I do the very best I can when I'm on stage," he says. "My main goal always is to be entertaining. If it reaches art, then we're all lucky."

MMM, BACON



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