Prev - 1996_Bellows

The Body Hesitates (1998)

Next - 1998_Possess

Choreography: Dawn Kramer
Performers: Carlo Rizzo with Ann Brown Allen, Judy Cohen, Jamie Huggins, Nicole Huggins, Micki Taylor Pinney
Commissioned Music: Jeff Talman with excerpts from Bach’s Goldberg Variations
Costumes: Loaned by The Original Roxy Dancers
Presented by the Bank Boston Celebrity Series

Created as a 45th birthday present for Carlo Rizzo,The Body Hesitates celebrates his talent as a performer while acknowledging his pain and limitations because of arthritic hips. The commissioned score by Jeff Talman weaves Carlo’s speaking into some of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.


Kramer created The Body Hesitates as a tribute to Carlo Rizzo, one of the most distinctive modern dancers Boston has seen and a mainstay of the Collective for over a decade. Rizzo now suffers from arthritis, which forces him to walk with a cane. In addition to a commissioned score by Jeff Talman that weaves in excerpts from Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the sound includes a spoken text about Rizzo’s struggles to cope with pain. His gestures are slow and sometimes spasmodic, but he maintains the majesty he’s always had on stage: His bulk and regal bearing convey an integrity that is even more impressive now. Kramer lightens what might be a dance that’s too despairing with a night club chorus that also features canes, an allusion to Rizzo’s role as one of the Original Roxy Dancers.

- Christine Temin, The Boston Globe, October 26, 1998
Rizzo, still a powerful and magnetic, if limited, performer, dances the opening solo with great majesty despite the convolutions his body endures as his hands steer his movement. He is surprisingly nimble in a floorwork section in which his taped voice describes his restless sleep against a “Stonehenge” of pillows, and Taylor-Pinney filters through as a youthful, vigorous alter ego. He momentarily joins a Broadway style chorus line, but his moves disintegrate before our eyes. All the while, he maintains his dignity, even as he claims with heartbreaking resolution, “I need never hurry again.”

- Karen Campbell, The Boston Herald, October 24, 1998