REDCAT: “Popkin has a flair for originality that periodically has you realizing that you are smiling to yourself in the dark.”
—The Washington Post
“Delightfully mercurial.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
Inspired in part by the career of American modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is an evening-length trio by the engaging choreographer and dancer Lionel Popkin, performed to a live score by Guy Klucevsek for accordion and violin, with Sara Parkins on violin. St. Denis was famed for her lavish “Oriental” dances built from her fascination with Eastern cultures and a love of elaborate costuming. Popkin foraged through St. Denis’ archives, inquiring into the legendary figure’s acts of appropriation, as well as her original sources. This legacy allows Popkin—who is half Jewish and half Indian—to playfully wrestle with his own uncertainties and awkwardness with representations of South Asia. Amid a vast array of costume elements and lush fabrics, the performers attempt to order a messy journey that questions the mechanisms of cultural sourcing, representation and transmission.