Traveling Through

Clubs in Space and Dancing Beyond Death

Peggy Peloquin's Strategies Stabilizing is a simpler, less juicy piece than her wonderful Tender: The Nurse's Project of 1999. But both, in different ways, consider architecture as a metaphor for the body. In the earlier work, the empty hospital corridors were redolent of death and contrasted with the bustle of dancers and real nurses. In this one, houses seem as capricious and volatile in their construction as the women (Kelly Eudailey, Barbara Gruebel or Peloquin, and Daniela Hoff) who experiment with control and the lack of it. Sometimes it's their daring bodies that risk, but Gruebel also has a duet with a handkerchief that floats where it will. "Body my house/my horse my hound/what will I do when you are fallen," begins the May Swenson poem that Peloquin prints in the program. And we do see—or think we do—horses frisking and dogs romping. At one point Eudailey and Hoff exit, one bent over and walking behind the other holding onto her waist, like a two-man horse without the costume.

There are some lovely visual effects. Two suspended shapes by Matt Gagnon that resemble the shells of torsos turn out to be just that, when they lower toward the end and dancers insert themselves into them. The first thing we see is Peter Richards's video of driving down a black-and-white highway onto which drift small colored pictures of houses, holding a second before they break up. (At that moment, we hear children's voices in C. Hyams Hart's music for the piece.) Later a crooked, partly constructed little house is brought onstage,as well as a red box full of toy houses.

Life sentence: Neumann
photo: Dona Ann McAdams
Life sentence: Neumann

Peloquin has made a gentle, intelligent dance. I feel as if she took a cluster of ideas and images that supported the body-house/control-at-risk similarities and tensions and sprinkled them together in a way that creates a semblance of flow and connectedness. You don't feel a strong thread binding the work, but rather enjoy the strong, sensitive women and Peloquin's often imaginative visions.

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