Yesterday I caught a performance of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at the Joyce. As always with this company, the program was well-executed and thoughtful, but the standout piece was Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter's "The Fools." This ballet was a New York premier - expanded and tweaked from the original commission set on Bern Ballet in 2008. "The Fools" opens with eight dancers (the Shadows) dressed in gray, military-like garb and violently thrashing their bodies up and down to percussive music. This scene repeats throughout the piece abruptly beginning and ending with black-outs and lights. From that point on, you're in for an unsettling 15 minutes. Seven other dancers appear (presumably the Fools) and their movements are hunched and pained. Their stiff bodies and other-worldly claw-like arms and legs convulse as if being electrocuted.
If it sounds crazy, you got it. I've never seen anything quite this raw, grotesque and powerful. I wasn't able to find a video online of "The Fools," but to get an idea of Shechter's unique voice and vocabulary, check out this video HERE of another ballet "Uprising."