WHAT NARWHALS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LOVE (Grace Mi-He Lee and Leslie Elkins): Fringe Review 77

Excerpted from thINKingDANCE.net. Republished by kind permission.

Grace Mi-He Lee and Leslie Elkins, dance veterans of the Philadelphia scene, set their work, WHAT NARWHALS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LOVE, in Lee’s living room of her small home on Montrose Street in South Philly in the on-and-off tradition of the Rowhouse Fringe.


Grace Mi-He Lee and Leslie Elkins in What Narwhals Talk About When They Talk About Love. Photo by Felicia Graumann.

Donning costumes by Heidi Barr of a projecting narwhal tusk, heads sheathed with long greyish wigs and dressed in silvery shifts and culottes, Lee and Elkins played off the eccentricity of this “unicorn of the sea” in a fun, narwhalean take on iconic pop songs about love from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and others. Lee and Elkins nicely interspersed their sketches with some ballet steps and torso gyrations but might have brought more quirkiness and humor into the body and movement as was done once with a series of head turns. Read the full review on thINKingDANCE.net. [Grace’s House, 731 Montrose Street] September 10-17, 2014 (added performances September 24 and October 8, 2014, email leslieelkins47@gmail.com for details); fringearts.com/what-narwhals-talk-about-when-they-talk-about-love.

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About the author

Jonathan Stein for thINKingDANCE

Stein entered Community Legal Services in 1968 following graduation from Columbia College, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a year at the London School of Economics and has been an anti-poverty, legal aid lawyer to the present. He is one of the nation’s few exemplars of his generation still actively working as a legal advocate for the poor. Stein was among the first to advance the rights and well-being of broad numbers of low income people by class-action law suits and law reform advocacy, which through US Supreme Court cases and Congressional legislation have had national impact. He has been at the forefront of reform in such areas as Social Security and SSI disability; welfare and Medical Assistance; school lunch and breakfast; rights of disabled and the blind; low income health insurance; childhood lead paint poisoning; utility termination protections; civil rights housing; among others. He has also had a long-standing interest in all the arts, and since the 1970s has been pursuing modern dance and contact improvisation with inspiring teachers including Alice Forner, Madeline Cantor, Susan Deutsch, Leah Stein, Steve Krieckhaus, Eric Schoefer, Karen Carlson, and David Brick. Since beginning performing in 1989, he has appeared in sixteen performances in the works of Asimina Chremos, Stephen Koplowitz, Leah Stein, Megan Mazarick, and in Headlong Dance Theater’s Cell in the 2006 Live Arts Festival, and 2007 International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, and in Jerome Bel’s The Show Must Go On, Live Arts Festival, 2008, at the Kimmel Center. Since 2008 he has been also writing dance and theater reviews for BroadStreetReview.com, although he got the itch early for writing as Features Editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator in the last days of letterpress (hot metal typesetting) printing.