Cranky Destroyers (1987)

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A thirty-three minute high-energy dance for six set in unlikely ways to Beethoven's Symphony #5. About a society of strong individuals moving forward together. Choreographed with & for the original cast: Benoit Lechambre, Brian Moran, David Rousseve, Margery Segal, Stephanie Skura, & Debra Wanner. With costumes by Baltimore phenomenon Laure Drogoul & lighting by ML Geiger.

Premiered at P.S. 122, New York City. Performed worldwide, including at Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House, Pepsico Summerfare, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Central Park Summerstage, Joyce Theater, NY; Intermedia Arts Center, Huntington, NY; Group Motion, PA; MoMing Arts Center, Chicago; Casa de Serralves, Porto & Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon in Portugal; Tanz '90 at Secession Theater, Vienna; Petofi Csarnok, Budapest; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; Bates College, ME; Bagley-Wright Theater, Seattle. Commissioned & performed by D-9 Dance Co. of Seattle, 1994-95.


First Movement 8'

Second Movement 10'

Third Movement 14'16"

"The best dance of the decade." Sally Banes

"One of the pinnacles of success of the past 40 years." Stephen Greco

"Stephanie Skura takes on Beethoven's Fifth & modern culture to splendid effect in Cranky Destroyers. She pits reckless, hurtling movement against Beethoven's score. Both come up winners." Burt Supree, RIP, Village Voice

“Stephanie Skura constructs new meanings even as she demolishes musical & choreographic preconceptions.” Jack Anderson, New York Times

"Cranky Destroyers is a masterwork, brilliantly performed by the dancers on whom it was made. They catapult around space to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony - every move exciting, eccentric, and unexpected." Village Voice

"We were awed. Where Skura's hand touches, conventions are broken, emitting sparks. A delightful show -- a veritable embodiment of disrespect. That's what makes her world dance theater so amusing, so fresh, so eternal." Vienna Neue Kronen Zeitung

"Skura has caught something at the pond of narrative -- the ambience of a blustery age all too much like our own. And instead of stuffing it & mounting it, she's decided to throw it back. Courageously, she's casting in open water. She gives us a lot to look at, but no easy formulas or resolutions. You may get seasick, but you won't get bored." Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice.

"It was as if Beethoven's score had been poured into the deep earth and these creatures, with their hot little dramas, had risen out of it." Joan Acocella, 7 Days

"Fast-moving, integrated choreography that bulges, breaks, spits & slithers through the space." Albany Times-Union

"Skura does it again. It was like Calder's 'Circus' -- everyone's in their own world but they're all in the same world." Ivan Sygoda, Pentacle Dance Management

"It was better than Cats! ...The macro-choreographic choices you've made bring out the individuals & cohere them without homogenizing them. Bravo! I love the radical classicism of the piece. You take elements of classicism & eschew others, rather than appropriating the whole form. This leads us to question what is truly 'classical', & actually provides alternatives to those of us who'd like to use an awareness of history & our various dance legacies to give meaning to our lives....I love the seeming spontaneity of the work, though it's obviously patterned by you. How wonderful that your patterning brings out idiosyncracy & the individual power of the dancers. It brings to mind all kinds of real-life spatial configurations while remaining clear. I love the investment of the dancers in their dancing, & their awareness of each other, even though everyone's doing their own thing. Your choreography doesn't 'osterize' the dancers into unity. I found the balance of what seemed to be your input v. the dancers' input intriguing & politically delicious. You're great & your work inspires me." George Russell

"Completely revitalized my love for dance." Selene Carter

"It was anarchic but together. My mind was racing with the piece, & yet it was not a puddle. It was just a great evening." William Harris, RIP

"The least masturbatory of your works." Barry Laine, RIP

"Everyone had such a strong sense of their internal self, & at the same time a sense of the whole group." Micki Wesson

"Extraordinary, magic, excellent." Lenora Champagne

"I thought your piece was brilliant -- so dense with creative discoveries that it must be seen more than once." Ana Maria Simo

"Your work is stunning, your performers are mesmerizing. I was totally enthralled & even moved to tears. " Dan Hurlin

"The evening's best offering came from Stephanie Skura, who presented 'Cranky Destroyers.' We see that the famous journey from the ridiculous to the sublime need not cover any real distance." NY Daily News