The current reconstruction of Miguel Gutierrez’s “myendlesslove,” which opened on Wednesday at the Abrons Arts Center at Henry Street Settlement, dates to 2006, when the original piece received its first and last performance. But its roots are actually older. In 2005, Mr. Gutierrez choreographed “Retrospective Exhibitionist,” a piercing solo that explored the plight of a performer with fearlessness, innocence and humor. It was raw in a way that only New Yorkers can pull off; his tools, other than his own body, included a television and a boom box.
In a way, “myendlesslove” can be seen as a companion piece. Created for a producer who wanted Mr. Gutierrez to choreograph a work using video, “myendlesslove” is another personal excavation, this time inspired by a terrible breakup. In press notes, he said that he “hated the lack of space for queer grief.”
Exploring sex, desire and growing older in gay culture, the new version starts off with Mr. Gutierrez, in person, holding a discussion with himself on video: “What are you going to show us today?” “Whatever happens.” As the question is repeated, the response becomes more lascivious: “I really hope it’s going to look beautiful, that you’re going to try all the possible variations and positions.”
With several video monitors showing just the faces of men — it’s a tease — Mr. Gutierrez essentially transforms Abrons’s Underground Theater into a sex den. At first, it’s sly; Mr. Gutierrez strips to black boots and dances like a go-go boy while Connor Voss (wearing gray underwear, and more a beautiful prop than another performer) faces the stage holding a mirror.
Eventually, when Mr. Voss enters the scene and straddles Mr. Gutierrez, the power shifts. With his head in Mr. Voss’s crotch, they skitter the surface of the stage; Mr. Gutierrez holds on for dear life. Aside from its explicit sexual content, “myendlesslove” is sad rather than shocking, yet even with that strain of melancholy, it doesn’t have the depth of “Retrospective Exhibitionist.” Beyond the use of an actual mirror, there’s something too reflective and formulaic at play: Mr. Gutierrez never goes all the way.Continue reading the main story