Sean Curran Company, Fireweather (2013)


“How do they dance in hell? According to Sean Curran’s new Fireweather, the first half of his company’s program at the Joyce Theater, the damned gravitate to the floor. Stretch and spring up as they might, something keeps pulling them down.
Both Fireweather and its score, Charles Wuorinen’s ‘Mission of Virgil,’ are inspired by Dante’s Inferno. In a program note Mr. Wuorinen stresses that his atonal composition isn’t narrative and that his attitude, like Dante’s, is mocking. Mr. Curran’s attitude is more reverent, and his dance much more like an illustration.
Though there is no clear Dante or Virgil, there is a journey deeper into the circles of the underworld, with projected titles to announce each section. Warriors march and kick. Bodies mass into six-armed monsters. A naked Satan struts and stumbles. The adulterers Paolo and Francesca circle each other and kiss.
Much of the choreography has a monumental quality that recalls the mythic works of Martha Graham. Tense tableaus are composed like the paintings of old masters. Yet despite strong dancing and choreographic craft, the work falls short of its august models. The titles that guide us set up expectations nearly impossible to fulfill.”    –Brian Seibert, The New York Times, February 1, 2013