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Part Three (Judy Garland)19975 dancers20 min

I made Part Three (Judy Garland) for a shared program, curated by H.T. Chen, that was presented in June 1997 at The Taipei Cultural Center. I didn’t have much time to make the dance, so I continued in the vein of the work I had just premiered in January, Part Three (My Fair Lady). Much of the raw material for that work was generated from my videotaped improvisations to the soundtrack of My Fair Lady, with a snippet of Judy Garland thrown in. For this new work I videotaped myself improvising again to that same recording of Garland singing live at Carnegie Hall. I also recorded improvisations to two versions of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, from that same live performance and from The Wizard of Oz, the film for which the song was written. While the resulting dance is performed largely in silence, we do perform with the recordings at times - making this only my third dance in which we danced to music.

Why Judy Garland? Oh please, Mary. Judy was a cultural icon for me and other gay men of my generation. Why did my brother Jon and I, two little gay boys, listen obsessively to the cassette recording we made directly off the television of The Wizard of Oz? Why as a teenager did I have the album “Judy at Carnegie Hall” special ordered from a university bookstore? I may as well ask why the sky is blue. Judy was a fact of my life. My impulse to use her recordings for this new dance was in part autobiographical, springing from the highly personal, as well as from the shared experience of countless gay men. 

But also, in Judy Garland’s singing I found some of what was, for me, an essence of performance. In this way too Part Three (Judy Garland) was an outgrowth of Part Three (My Fair Lady), delving into my developing understanding(s) of performance itself. Too, both were made to be performed on conventional raised proscenium stages, firsts for me (my previous work had all been made for black box, gallery, or otherwise alternative spaces). At long last I could sit and dangle my legs off the front of the stage, gazing directly at the viewers, as Garland famously did, explicitly addressing the performer-to-spectator relationship. While in Part Three (My Fair Lady) only Paige Martin and I got to engage in this leg-dangling practice, we all did so in Part Three (Judy Garland).  

A self-centered note: The only available video of the work was recorded in 1998 when the dance was bookended by Part Three (My Fair Lady) and the new Part Three (Luck).  I was ill with an AIDS-related opportunistic infection during the performances, running high fevers. So please take my dancing in the video with a grain of salt. 

Premiered at The Taipei Theater (New York) in June, 1997.

Choreography and Text: Neil Greenberg
Performed by: Ellen Barnaby, Christopher Batenhorst, Neil Greenberg, Justine Lynch, Paige Martin
Music: Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, Come Rain or Come Shine performed by Judy Garland;  Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, Over the Rainbow, performed by Judy Garland
Musical Consultant: Zeena Parkins

Lighting: Michael Stiller
Costumes: Suzanne Gallo
Stage Manager: Roderick Murray

Videotaped by the Dance Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts for preservation in the Jerome Robbins Archives of the Recorded Moving Image

Recorded April 4, 1998 at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project at Playhouse 91, NYC by Sathya Production Services, Molly McBride, Director.


Commissioned by the Chinese Information and Culture Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York and the Mulberry Street Theater


Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, 1998

Leigh Witchel, Ballet Review, 1998

L-R: Paige Martin, Justine Lynch
© Tom Brazil, 1998

Justine Lynch
© Tom Brazil, 1998

Neil Greenberg
© Tom Brazil

Paige Martin
© Tom Brazil