Garden of Earthly Delights

by Claire Pienaar

Have you ever…felt good and evil in the same day?

Garden of Earthly Delights combines dance and theatre to interpret a triptych (three-section painting) painted by Hieronymus Bosch. The abstract choreography has deep biblical symbolism as the characters travel between heaven, earth and hell.


Dancers were lifted into the air, sometimes high above the audience. Musicians wove in and out among the dancers shrouded in monk robes, at points even dancing themselves. In one instance, the spotlight was focused on a dancer attempting to seduce a cellist in order to take his bow. The cellist impaled the girl in the stomach with his bow and continued to play.

At times, the movement was hard to follow. When all fourteen cast members were on stage doing something different, it was difficult to know where to look.


I recommend Garden of Earthly Delights to people who appreciate modern dance, complex symbolism, or just something distinctive and strange. If you have conflicts with simulated nudity and sexuality, or find it hard to comprehend conceptual performances, then this might not be the best show to see.

How to see the show: $30 student rush tickets • Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane. Visit www.gardenofearthlydelightsnyc.com for schedule and more information.