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Bits and Pieces 1979

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Ann Brown Allen and Michael Shannon
Judith Chaffee from 2003 revival
Original performers:
Stephen Buck and Dawn Kramer,
Susan Dowling and Judith Chaffee,
Ruth Wheeler

Bits and Pieces was a series of four short pieces that appeared at intervals between longer dances on a program, or at intervals of months or years between programs. They distilled domestic concerns into brief scenes: the shopping cart and faux-fur lady with businessman; later stripped down to lady in slip and nude man wrapped in plastic, like a hunk of meat in the cart...the tired mom with child and Raggedy Ann doll... the back of an older woman as she massages her own aching neck...


Kramer’s Bits & Pieces, #1, #2, #3 (1977) displays the power in economy. Blink, and this hilarious social commentary on the perils of domesticity is gone. In #1, Michael Shannon, who danced with the company from 1980 to 1982, returns as a businessman in a rush. Ann Brown Allen, a company member since 1978, pushes a shopping cart nonchalantly, her blond bob wig and fake fur floating after. In #2, Shannon, now bound in Saran wrap sits rigid in the cart, replacing the groceries. Brown, still pushing the cart, has shed her fur in favor of a black slip. The implications are many: modern couples as ships passing in the night. Spouses – and sex- as commodity. The ties that grind us – down.

-Thea Singer, The Boston Globe, September 22, 2003