Maxwell Granitz, Contributing Writer
September 24, 2018
Away from the lights and foot/vehicle traffic of Times Square, in a comparatively quiet corner of Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood off the L train, a small but thriving theatre company is blending opera, circus acts, live music, burlesque and opulent sets into erotic and immersive performance pieces that have gained a strong local following since its founding in 2006 by choreographer Austin McCormick.
Company XIV takes Neo-Baroque aesthetics and infuses them with bold, modern sensibilities, taking new approaches to classic stories such as “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, and “The Nutcracker”.
These aren’t your mother’s fairytales. Cinderella’s stepsisters are played by drag queens, the Sugar Plum Fairy is sexually awoken after discovering a world of dominatrixes, and Ferdinand is surrounded by an all-male ensemble showing a lot of skin before he must face the fertile, ravenous matador. The performances ask the question, “Just how far can you go?”
There are no limits for the resident cast members, physically or creatively, who twirl and vogue to music before a circus act takes the spotlight, and then a soloist performs a striptease one right after the other. McCormick’s experience at Lincoln Center in Manhattan (including the Metropolitan Opera), as well as the Kennedy Center, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Mark Morris Dance Center and other institutions is one of the company’s strengths, though they are less concerned with with the physical and technical aspects of dance, focusing on the theatricality and eroticism of dance.
Simultaneously an homage to both the stories we know and love, and to the kinky, strange side of the performing arts, a show at Company XIV’s theatre is a perfect night out for couples or LGBT singles in the city. The current show is “Ferdinand: Boylesque Bullfight”, followed by “Nutcracker Rouge” for the holidays, and then “Queen of Hearts” in spring 2019.
Tickets may be bought for all three shows through May 5th, 2019, directly through Company XIV, or at a discount on TodayTix. Check availability and times for both sites. All performances are recommended for persons 21 and older, and run for 2 hours and 15 minutes including two short intermissions. We recommend you take the train to the show… the venue is less than a block from the L train at Jefferson Street, or a 15-minute walk from the M train at Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves. Doors open 1 hour before each performance.