DISPATCH – June 29, 2011 (Wednesday; 9:45 p.m.)

East Hampton, NY

A scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

Dance is sweetest in triumph. Especially if it’s despair that’s on the losing end.

So proclaims a small band of women in the dance theater piece, “Trojan Women Redux.”The special limited run is presented through July 3, 2011 beneath stars twinkling above the Mulford Barn in East Hampton."Trojan Women Redux" is a series of dramatic dances that is choreographed to alternate between striking group dances and personal journeys.The outdoor stage, framed by a quartet of historic barns, is an unusual one. It provides an apropos backdrop to an ancient tale of destruction and chaos that ensues in war’s wake.

Scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

“Trojan Women Redux” is inspired by Euripides’s play, The Trojan Women. His play, written in 415 BC as a warning against war, follows the imagined lives of women surviving the Trojan War after their men are killed and city sacked.

"Trojan Women Redux" by Kate Mueth does the same. Sort of. The dance performance begins in the same place but takes a turn with a big dash of the metaphoric.

It is presented by Mueth and The Neo-Political Cowgirls. Mueth  choreographed, conceived and appears in “Trojan Women Redux.”

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Before they are dispersed, help or hindrance arrives with Cassandra and then Helen of Troy. In separate dramatic scenes, the women gang up and destroy each visiting woman in vicious detail.

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Things worsen. Violence strikes. Anguish engulfs and then a new bond is formed.

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Scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

Scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

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Soon, help tries again with the arrival of the goddess Athena. Determined to uplift the women, she suggests a different future could be forged if creative thinking can triumph over rote reaction.

A scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

"Trojan Women Redux" premiered last year at Mulford Farm with a three-day run. It was revised and re-staged upon request by those who saw it the first time or were unable to, Mueth said.

Music that conjures cultures from around the world alternates with narrative spoken between dances. Plot in poetic language is broadcast through a sound system offering insight in an Oz-like fashion.
The sound design is by Joe Brondo. Set by Brian Leaver. Lighting by Sebastian Paczynski. Costumes by Anna Lacivita.

When Mueth rediscovered Euripides’s play, it struck a chord. The story of trauma and its aftermath is a contemporary one, Mueth said.

Today's warmonger can also attack a single person instead of a society. Beasts can materialize as child abuse, alcoholism, depression, violence and personal demons as well as war, she said.

Mueth poses that "Trojan Women Redux" ultimately asks:

What happens if we break the boxes that hold female and male roles and reactions to adversity?

What's the outcome if courage trumps fear?

What if playing the wild card is worth the risk?

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Scene from "Trojan Women Redux." Photo by Nate Best. Courtesy of Kate Mueth.

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BASIC FACTS: “Trojan Women Redux” is performed daily through July 3, 2011 at Mulford Farm, 10 James Lane, East Hampton. Shows begin at 8:30 p.m. except July 1 when the show starts at 7 p.m. A screening of Jaws immediately follows as a separate event.

The show is general outdoor seating. Picnics are encouraged beforehand. Running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. There is no intermission.

Tickets are $15. They can be purchased at the door, by calling 866-811-4111 or through www.theatermania.com/long-island/shows/trojan-women-redux_181949/

The Neo-Political Cowgirls is a group of women who come together to present avant-garde dance performances which reflect what they care about in their lives, according to the website. www.neopoliticalcowgirls.com

The Mulford Barn is part of the East Hampton Historical Society. http://easthamptonhistory.org

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© 2011 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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