Midtown Moments

DTW Around Town offered a fortuitous pairing of new dances by Maura Nguyen Donohue and Patricia Hoffbauer at the Duke. Donohue's Both—a fantasia of bungee-cord flight and expansive ensemble movement melting from memory like cotton candy on the tongue—might not work alone. She took a risk in closing the piece with an image of a candle, "E Pluribus Unum" projected upon its molten wax, as a flutist insinuated "Imagine" into our ears. Even post-WTC, New York remains—thank you, god—the capital of skepticism. As Anh Bui's Scheherazadean costumes hint, Donohue bravely dances to keep the wrath at bay. But she required backup from Hoffbauer's Over My Dead Body, with its fleshier, indelible images of pluribus and unum. This is the dance I need now—oddly matched people who never stray far from one another's loving hands or sweat, who make fun of their looks, argue freely, samba well or badly, and portray the most convincing birds and cows you'll ever see in a theater.—Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Scott Rink's dance plays, On His Deathbed, Holding Your Hand and Of Melodrama and Murder (ATA Theater, September), are an unusual hybrid genre in which dance is part of the larger theatrical whole. In the new Deathbed, a dying man's monologue about his virulent hatred for his son seeps like a poisonous mist over Rink, Leona Parr, and Deborah Abramson, who alternately incarnate medics and family. A slow, crouching solo for Rink as the newborn in a wrinkled, translucent skin extends into and out of a lyrical duo with Parr. As words float over them, the dance slowly evokes the unspoken: man and wife, mother and son, the dream of intimacy, the pain of solitude. Rink's strength is to leave this all implied. —Roslyn Sulcas

 
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