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Part Three (My Fair Lady)19975 dancers24 min

I made this dance to be performed for my first presentation in the then-annual Altogether Different Festival at The Joyce Theater (the big time!), on the same program as The Disco Project and my solo from Not-About-AIDS-Dance. So the “Part Three” of the title was, in part, a way to show direct connection to those works. I was also interested in signaling the very notion of context, that no dance is an island.  

The parenthetical “(My Fair Lady)” refers, of course, to the music. Having opened the door to dancing to music with The Disco Project, for my second dance to music I generated much of the movement material in this work via videotaped improvisations to the soundtrack of My Fair Lady, another very personal musical reference. My Fair Lady was the first movie musical I ever saw, at the age of five (I immediately fell in love with Audrey Hepburn, little realizing that it was a love of identification: what I really wanted was to be her). So my choice of music was, in part, autobiographical. The Disco Project referenced one era of my life, the gay scene before knowledge of AIDS. Part Three (My Fair Lady) called upon my childhood as a little gay boy, and the seeds of my love for performance. 

Too, there was something about performance in my use of the My Fair Lady soundtrack, as well as the briefer snippets of a Judy Garland recording I also placed in the work. I remember being crushed when I was told that Audrey Hepburn didn’t do her own singing in My Fair Lady, that it was dubbed by Marni Nixon. Around the same time, my mother said “look Neil - that’s Dorothy” while we were watching the adult Judy Garland performing on her television show (Garland had played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, should that be necessary to point out). I think both these cognitively dissonant loss-of-innocence experiences made me aware that these were performances, that Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland were performing. Just as there was something about the impulse to dance, and the function of dance, in the musical choices for The Disco Project, I think there was something about the function, and fact, of performance in Part Three (My Fair Lady). 

Premiered at The Joyce Theater, January 11, 16 & 17, 1997


Choreography and Text: Neil Greenberg
Performed by: Ellen Barnaby, Christopher Batenhorst, Neil Greenberg, Justine Lynch, Paige Martin
Music:  Clifton Davis, Never Can Say Goodbye, performed by Jimmy Somerville & the Communards; Allen J. Lerner & Frederick Lowe, Overture and I Could Have Danced All Night from the film soundtrack of My Fair Lady; Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, Come Rain or Come Shine, performed by Judy Garland

Remixes:  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.

Videography by Sathya Production Services, Molly McBride, Director, at The Joyce Theater, January 17, 1997.


Commissioned by the 1997 Altogether Different Fund for New Works, sponsored by the Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc, with additional support provided by The Greenwall Foundation, The Overbrook Foundation and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Inc.
New York State Council on the Arts

The Harkness Foundation for Dance


Ann Daly, Dance Theatre Journal, 1997

Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times, 1997

Don Daniels, Ballet Review, 1997

Additional Links

Excerpt from Part Three (My Fair Lady)
Excerpt of improvised material used in Part Three (My Fair Lady)

L-R: Paige Martin, Neil Greenberg
© Paula Court

L-R: Ellen Barnaby, Christopher Batenhorst, Neil Greenberg
© Johan Elbers

L-R: Ellen Barnaby, Neil Greenberg, Justine Lynch
© Tom Brazil

L-R: Christopher Batenhorst, Neil Greenberg, Paige Martin
© Tom Brazil

Excerpt  of improvised material used in Part Three (My Fair Lady)