Done and Undone

In Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers' Beyond the Bones(Joyce Soho, June), we hear Lin collapse with an alarming thud in the aisle before we see him—a ghoulish sight, laced in ropes and rags. Kori Darling performs a protean rebirth enactment, emerging vulnerable yet scrappy from a froth of tulle. Lin's choreography, while contemporary in its sampling of genres and cultures, is rooted in traditional modern dance—Graham, Mary Anthony—which structures the movement with a satisfying disciplined economy. But earnestness bogs down this meditation on life and its twists. The work is largely set to an eclectic recorded musical pastiche; a chorus joins the seven dancers for the finale, harmonizing about beauty while holding hands and rocking. What's missing? For better, any hint of cynicism or irony; for worse, any inkling of humor. —Susan Yung


Much like dogs chasing their tails, Aviva Geismar's dancers struggled to overcome clingy hands, partners, and office supplies in an evening of humorous and powerful work (WAX, May 29 through June 1). In Sure Grip, the clownish Roberta Cooper, unwitting victim of her own roaming hands, tripped over herself to avoid the mischievous, and incidentally self-inflicted, groping of hair, crotch, and other parts. Geismar and Emily Bunning began The Fitting like two baby hamsters nestled in each other's curves. As tender embraces gave way to awkward slaps, with elbows entangled and heads butting, I ached to see these beauties work it out. The push-pull chaos subsided with the women in gently swaying, symmetrical backward arches, anchored by their interlocked knees and a sturdy handshake. In Durable Goods Vanessa Adato at last claimed victory over multi-colored and multiplying supplies of Post-its and packing tape by standing strong, even enjoying, the overwhelming mess. —Meital Waibsnaider


Will Swanson/DanceWorks' "Wild Human Poetry" (Danspace St. Marks, June) included the world premiere of cubic legroom, in which Swanson shaped a kaleidoscope of six bodies. Dancers mirrored each other. Phrases flowed into one another as consistently as the constant mellow drumming of the music. Swanson, a practitioner of the Alexander Technique, used its principles to form smooth movement and fluidity through the dancers' necks and heads. Somersaults and jumps were loose and free, showing the "undoing of our doing" that Alexander espouses. The 2002 Naked Singularities provided an electrifying contrast as dancers repeatedly pushed and pulled each other, crawled on the floor, and flexed their muscles, giving the piece a violent feel. Metallic tunics designed by Swanson, a high-pitched collage score, and wild movement combined to provide sustained intensity. —Lara Schrage

 
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