STILL SMOKING (2006) 61 minutes
STILL SMOKING initially entices us with illusions of grandeur and excess. Nineteen chandeliers float dreamily above in the blackness of the theater. At once gaudy, excessive, fantastic and beautiful they set the stage for Hassabi’s choreographic work. Six dancers perform the piece, which contains references ranging from the Baroque, to aerobics and everyday pedestrian movements. The chandeliers slowly lower and create obstacles of light reminiscent of the bright lights of a city skyline. What began as purely surface has evolved into a precarious dance, set between these gleaming and delicate obstacles. This further foregrounds the complex nature of urban dwellers and their often-failed attempts for connection, community and belonging. The work languishes in surface and excess, as Hassabi uses her choreography to slowly peel away the surface and the piece ultimately becomes a window into a world of glittering emptiness, sparsely populated by the performers, who in all their beauty and elegance, never quite connect. The city once again remains an ominous and seductive force in Hassabi’s work.
Directed by: Maria Hassabi
Performers: David Adamo, Caitlin Cook, Jessie Gold, Ori Flomin, Hristoula Harakas, Maria Hassabi
Lighting Design: Joel Fitzpatrick
Sound Mix/Engineer and Design: Ben Brunnemer
Music: Ben Brunnemer, Dorit Chrysler, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Lemonjelly
Technical Director: Stefan Jacobs
Set design: Maria Hassabi
Dramaturge: Marcos Rosales
– ImPulsTanz Festival [8:tension], Vienna, Austria (August 7)
– 9th European Dance Festival, Rialto Theater, Limassol, Cyprus (June 24)
– Premiere: The Kitchen, NY (April 7-13)
“The dancers’ movement is eye-popping, pedestrian, and traffic stopping.”
GAY CITY NEWS, Lori Ortiz, April 25, 2006
As a Dance Program at The Kitchen, STILL SMOKING was made possible with the sponsorship support from Altria Group, Inc. and with generous grants from the Harkness Foundation for Dance and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. The work was developed with the generous support of Foundation 2021 and the contributions of several major individual contributors including Thea Westreich and Anonymous. STILL SMOKING received generous support from the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture.