The Battle of Paris

Shana Lutker riffs on Andre Breton at Performa is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

At Performa, Shana Lutker revisits a wild Dada play that featured a nose and some lips.

This is a study for props and costumes in "The Nose, The Cane, The Broken Left Arm", a piece by Shana Lutker that I saw staged last night in New York as part of this year's Performa festival, and that is playing again tonight. Lutker's piece revisits the events of July 6, 1923, when Andre Breton, future leader of the Surrealist movement, came to blows in a Paris theater with some adherents of the rival Dada group, led by Tristan Tzara, who that night was premiering his new play called "The Gas Heart". Lutker's directing and script both need lots (and lots) more work, but the historical material she unearthed is fantastic, as are the costumes for the characters in "The Gas Heart", the play within Lutker's play, whom Tzara named Mouth, Eyebrow, Ear, Neck, Eye and Nose. Apparently last night's outfits were "inspired" by the originals of Sonia Delaunay, but I've got a feeling that Lutker used some wonderful poetic license in giving us a few of these body parts.

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