Once and Future Dancers

Three Generations of Women Tackle Diverse Passions

In her solo Part One Parting, after bouts of angry silent talking and then sputtering, she eventually spits out a speech that begins, "This is you saying goodbye from the train." But—raging about the space in her red sparkle shoes while Chris Peck's score smites her with rumblings and hummings—she doesn't seem simply a woman venting her emotions over the departure of a loved one. Advancing and recoiling, challenging, trembling, shaking her head frantically, she becomes a disaster, the embodiment of loss, and even though she says, "I'm hanging on," the sound of the train engulfs her.

half URGE is also set to very effective music that bodes no good, this time by Douglas Henderson. The vibrant women who dance it seem unable to fulfill anything they attempt or crave, including keeping their balance. Durning, Steffany George, Andrea Johnston, and Molly Poerstel begin as if flying; next minute they're on the ground. These four, in identical duets, try to press as close to their partners as possible, but tender gestures evolve into pushing and pulling almost without their willing it. Over the course of the dance, joined by Jean Vitrano, they try unison dancing and stumble out of it; they pair up in new combinations; they fall on top of each other; they run, grabbing at one another in passing as if blown by a wind. Several times, Johnston pushes Poerstel down and won't let her get up.

Big mama: Lori Belilove as Isadora Duncan
photo: Richard Termine
Big mama: Lori Belilove as Isadora Duncan

I've made the work sound more hectic than it is. What helps it to be so gripping is Durning's command of variety and shading, as well as the imaginative movement she designs. Although the dance is essentially a collage about coping with daily anxieties, we see a little world.

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