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Part Three (Luck)19985 dancers34 min

Some context: The first combination therapy including a protease inhibitor, a development that completely changed the HIV/AIDS treatment landscape, was approved by the FDA in December 1995. I started combination therapy in February 1997, and by March my viral load (amount of HIV in the blood) was undetectable. I started thinking I wouldn’t die of AIDS. After having revealed that “I’m HIV+” in Not-About-AIDS-Dance, and “I’m still asymptomatic” in The Disco Project, I somehow felt I needed to report on my “undetectable status” - hence my return in Part Three (Luck) to the use of projected text providing non-fictional information about the performers.  

I’m no longer clear at what point in the process I chose to connect this new dance to my preceding two works via the Part Three of the title. Once so decided, I began referring to a trilogy of Not-About-AIDS-Dance, The Disco Project, and Part Three, itself in three parts. I soon wanted to perform all these works together, which Joan Finkelstein of the 92nd Street Y made possible. It was a perhaps overly ambitious undertaking, given our resources.  From my current vantage point, organizing these works as a trilogy seems overly tidy, too much a traditional three-part story structure, given my allergy to “about,” and to “story.”

The “Luck” in the title functioned, for me, as a substitute for “chance.”  I recognized, however, that many people imbue the term with what I see as magic-thinking, as in good or bad luck. I was ok with the contradiction. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the chance to finish work on this dance. During the final stages of choreography, and the performances, I was ill with the same at-that-point-undiagnosed condition from which I suffered the previous fall, and which I disclosed in the projected text for Part Three (Luck). (It took years before the condition was diagnosed as Multicentric Castleman Disease, an opportunistic infection, and I finally received effective treatment for it.) I wasn’t able to make finishing revisions on either the choreography or the text, which remains a disappointment to me now, as it was then. So goes luck. 

Premiered at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project at Playhouse 91 in April 1998.

Choreography and Text: Neil Greenberg
Performed by: Ellen Barnaby, Christopher Batenhorst, Neil Greenberg, Justine Lynch, Paige Martin
Lighting: Michael Stiller

Musical Consultant: Zeena Parkins

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.


Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts

New York State Council on the Arts

Harkness Foundation for Dance

Dance Ink Foundation

92nd Street Y Harkness Space Grant


Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, 1998

Leigh Witchel, Ballet Review, 1998

Ann Daly, New York Times, 1998

Additional Links

Text for “Part Three Luck”

David Romàn. “Not About AIDS.” Performance In America: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the Performing Arts. Duke University Press, 2005

Paige Martin
© Tom Brazil, 1998

Justine Lynch
© Tom Brazil, 1998

Neil Greenberg
© Tom Brazil

L-R Justine Lynch, Paige Martin
© Tom Brazil