Darkness Into Light

Modern Dance Titans Jump-Start ABT’s Spring Season

Frick, Frigato, and Alessandro Sabatini—all of them disarming—do dance: chunky little sequences of steps and gestures in which picking up a foot to examine the sole becomes part of a rhythmic phrase. But dancing is only one of their curious tasks. At various times, each places his or her head in a picture frame, and another describes the framed one's physical attributes. They enter in helmets, realize they've made a mistake, and go away to take them off. They offer the audience abandoned articles. They lie down and chant vocal rhythms. They read lists aloud. Frick selects a second tie from an electrically rotating rack. This is a ménage à trois lost in space.

Popsicle dream: ABT’s Marta Rodriguez-Coco in Mark Morris’s Gong
photo: Cary Conover
Popsicle dream: ABT’s Marta Rodriguez-Coco in Mark Morris’s Gong

In a charming and anomalous scene near the end, Frigato laboriously climbs onto Sabatini's shoulders and peers over the top of a wall. Oh! She can see the whole of her native Italy, and she hauls up a package from home. A salami, a Pinocchio doll, a tambourine, a horn! The men accompany her while she sings a nostalgic little song, and all move into a stiff, wheeling dance. On some level, they've communicated.

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