Raw Meat

Steel Traps and Soft Landings

Campbell, Schmitz, Terry Creach, and Susan Sgorbati, who call themselves the Giants of Science, teach an improvisation workshop together at Bennington every summer. They know one another's strategies, and foiling them is sometimes as much fun as complying. Trumpeters Arthur Brooks and Bill Heminway, and Jeremy Harlos on bass, goad and support the goings-on with breathy sputters or sudden melodic fragments. Still, Sgorbati can hardly have anticipated just how the other three—having slid in a clump to the floor—would respond to her arrival on the scene. As she circles them, they keep scrunching around to follow her with their gaze; seeing this, she becomes a leader, gesturing to them to do who-knows-what.

Peace march: Rowley-Gaskins (left) and Fisher-Harrell in Ronald K. Brown's Serving Nia
photo: Ellen Crane
Peace march: Rowley-Gaskins (left) and Fisher-Harrell in Ronald K. Brown's Serving Nia

Eleven crack dancers associated with the company of Rosane Chamecki and Andrea Lerner have perhaps not improvised together so frequently, but their work, while not completely satisfying, projects a quite engrossing atmosphere. It's as if we're looking into a plaza at some sleepy time of day. People watch motionless or walk to stand in new proximity to someone else. There's very little physical contact. Within this landscape, explosions of dancing (Maria Hassabi: breathtaking) and odd moments of intimacy (Sarah Michelson and Osmany Tellez) vanish unacknowledged.

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