Behold the Bedlam:
A Review Ballet Tech and Baryshnikov

by Tony Phillips

A child hangs over the Joyce balcony banging in time to Steve Reich’s hypnotic score. The unflappable Ballet Tech, which combs city schools for its tuition-free dance program, must know from rambunctiousness. But when that child’s guardian follows flash photography with wild applause during Eliot Feld’s Behold the Man on March 15, audience patience runs its course. Subsequent chants of "No War, No Pain" are met with expletives from the orchestra seats. Is Feld having us on with an audience plant? Will the temperamental Mikhail Baryshnikov — up after a break — go on amid such ruckus? And do we really want a crazy in the balcony for the eerily titled Lincoln Portrait? The woman loudly defends her right to an anti-war protest, barking, "Get real!" when informed she will not be returning to her seat. "Get out," Feld publicist Audrey Ross ripostes as the two nearly come to blows before the whole mess tumbles out onto Eighth Avenue.