Review: Emio Greco's Rocco

One boxing ring, four dancers, two intense acts of athletic, harrowing, and deeply sexy dancing. Through Saturday

By Aaron Scott April 11, 2014

Inspired by the 1960 Italian boxing film Rocco and His Brothers, this Amsterdam-based company puts a boxing ring on stage for two intense acts of athletic, harrowing, and deeply sexy dance set to a soundtrack of boxing bells and electronic music.

Emio Greco: Rocco
Newmark Theatre
Thru Saturday, April 12

First one pair of dancers in boxing shorts, and then a second pair in outfits that transform from cartoonish all-black get-ups to glitter hot pants, take the ring, their choreography not just drawing the old comparison between boxing and ballet, but detonating it in an explosion of punches, parries and spins, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets modern dance. The fight-dancing toes the homoerotic line between masculine aggression and agressive attraction—with a quick breather for a humorous "Pause" of consignments-throwing and lip-synching.

In other words, this is butch dance that will even appeal to dance-hating but mixed-martial-arts-loving men.

If you go, do whatever you can to sit in one of the rows of seating on stage. The four dancers are not just masters of movement; they are actors who communicate as much in the intensity of their stares as in their swings. And there's nothing so intense as when they turn that stare on you—except maybe being able to literally see their pulse vibrating through their veins.
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