Dance for the People (by the Pros) at the River to River Festival

It’s hard to imagine a better setting for Ms. Gill’s bold and haunting “Catacomb” than the Greek Revival rotunda of Federal Hall. This 2016 piece is extremely spare, strange and slow-moving, almost a memory play. Under the rotunda’s oculus, it felt like a 3-D Antonioni film: the unease, the longueurs, the serious rewards.

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Stanley Gambucci, left, and Nicholas Leichter in “Paramodernities” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on Thursday.

Credit
Justin Gilliland/The New York Times

Deconstructing Graham and Ailey

Ms. Yerushalmy’s “Paramodernities #2 and #3,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, are installments of a proposed series in which she collaborates with scholars on deconstructions of canonical modern dance works.

In “#2,” as Ms. Yerushalmy and Taryn Griggs perform bits of Martha Graham’s “Night Journey,” the art historian Carol Ockman shares her thoughts on Graham. Presenting Graham as a forerunner to feminist theorists diminishes her, though the lecture-demonstration enlivens when the dancers assault the affable docent.

For “#3,” about Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” the chief collaborator is Tommy DeFrantz, a dance scholar who’s also a charismatic performer. His lecture is theory-laden, but the questions he asks — about blackness, modernity, sexuality, freedom — are provocative, and his skeptical, sarcastic delivery gathers the urgency of a sermon.

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Wally Cardona and Silas Riener performing “Princess” in “The Set Up,” at the River to River Festival on Sunday.

Credit
Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

Meaning Without Attachment

“Paramodernities” is all about adding explanatory context. The audacity of “The…

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