Feel the Burn

Dorfman juxtaposes images of release and control, defusing intensity with sudden casualness. Many times, the dancers lunge as if ready to begin a fencing match, or take aim with a weapon. Once, they seem to be aiming at King. But she simply stares at them for a while, then walks by; one by one, they leave. Three of them gently mold partners who lie on the ground; when the partners slip away momentarily, they continue stroking air. The dance is full of such images of forming and dissolving, of violence dissipating.

Both pieces are uncannily moving --in part because of Dorfman's charged images, but also because of the power of this community of performers. Dancing stirs them, and they allow that warmth to emerge through passionate concentration. Dorfman has greatly strengthened Gone Right Back. Its bits of dialogue--witty and terrible--with which dancers assert that they're "stuck" or ask a colleague, "Could you please move me?" are now distributed more wisely. And the words foster analogies in the choreography so that the concepts of being stuck and needing others now surface like worried flags even in intense dance passages. Now that the piece has come into its own, the wonderfully creative musicians (I have blood ties to one of them, I admit), reinforce the theme. Violinist Hahn Rowe leaves his spot at the back to waltz slowly across in the embrace of Chris DiFrancesco (clarinet, saxophone) who's pumping an accordion behind Rowe's back. And if you can lift a comrade to his feet, you may also be able to stand over him and play him upright.

On guard art: Angelica Patterson in Ronald K. Brown's Incidents at DTW
John Springer/ Corbis-Bettmann
On guard art: Angelica Patterson in Ronald K. Brown's Incidents at DTW

Details

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
Dance Theater Workshop
Through November 8

Marta Renzi & the Project Co.
Danspace St. Mark's

David Dorfman Dance
Joyce Theater

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For all three artists, dancing doesn't reflect an idealized state. Refinement comes through the way these choreographers formalize the hot and heaving in all of us.

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