Vanessa Anspaugh
New York Times - Review of Armed Guard Garden
"Ms. Anspaugh’s “Armed Guard Garden” draws the viewer in immediately and never lets go. In silence, the lights dawn slowly. We make out a figure — no, two. Like sentries, they patrol the perimeter of the stage and define its diagonals. Three more pour flour onto the floor to define concentric boxes. They make lines on the rear wall in chalk. None of these borders will last.

In a recent interview Ms. Anspaugh said that casting was 75 percent of the piece, and here you see what she means. Although Emily Roysdon has dressed everyone in the same outfit — mesh shells over construction-orange tops and pink pants —there’s nothing uniform about them. Aretha Aoki, Molly Lieber, Lydia Okrent, Mary Read and Niall Noel Jones: just throwing them onstage together might be enough.

Ms. Anspaugh’s choreography, however, makes them more vivid. She is continually dividing them: one plus four, two plus three. As a consequence, there’s almost always more than one interesting interaction demanding your attention, and the groupings keep suggesting relationships: leader and followers, clique and outcast, couples, ménage à trois.

Ms. Anspaugh traffics here in many of the clichés of contemporary dance. The dancers put on fake smiles and expose their bellies. Near the end she reaches for that ubiquitous deus ex machina, the ironically intended pop song. It doesn’t matter. This choreographer and this cast and the deadpan tone of their bizarre behavior somehow make everything garden-fresh. "
-Brian Seibert