Harmonious Worlds

Two women choreograph peaceful climates in disastrous times

Green offers a luxury: four musicians (Peter Bucknell, Felix Fan, Judith Ingolfsson, and Nurit Pacht) to play (barefoot!) the second and fourth movements of Beethoven's String Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1 for her Full Circle and Fan to interpret Bach's Solo Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major for Nada. In between sections of both of these, the dancers help the musician(s) to move to new positions in the space, reconfiguring the terrain.

As Full Circle begins, the two women from Lux Boreal, garbed in long dark dresses by Paloma Young, stand apart from each other, rarely moving from the areas of dappled light that Mullins has pinned them in. They're eloquent, these two—Azalea López at first echoing Briseida López's gestures. They touch their faces, wreath their arms protectively around their own bodies. Tom Ontiveros's projections (neatly fitted into the moldings on the church wall) sometimes show a lush foliage at poignant odds with their grief. Gradually, other black-clad women join—11 of them, a who's who of downtown dance—to create a country in which sympathy and peacefulness engender joy. Some sit and watch when five of them (Carrie Ahern, Barnes, Eun Jung Gonzalez, Carolyn Hall, and Bronwen MacArthur) match Beethoven's rich allegro with playful, spirited, full-bodied dancing.

In Nada, Hall perhaps stands for Green—the traveling choreographer who must adapt to any company for whom she makes a piece. For a long time, Hall waits with her back to the audience, while the members of Lux Boreal stand in a file before her, craning around one another to get a better view of her. Green builds this lineup into a skillful game, later repeating and varying the formation to chart Hall's gradual assimilation (in the beginning someone, not unkindly, pushes her out of the way). To the ravishing Bach music and street sounds recorded in Tijuana and arranged by Alan Stone, Green mingles these fine and personable dancers in a variety of sequences, including two male-female duets. The two López women, plus Á Arámbula, David Mariano, Raul Navarro, and Henry Torres, may tussle or engage in vigorous yet easy-going ensemble dancing, but they're always unsentimentally tender with one another—capable but vulnerable. It's fascinating to watch the many ways in which Hall slips into their activities and then gets left behind or spun out, how they increasingly accept her and rely on her to complete their patterns.

Allyson Green's "Nada Que Declarar"
photo: Elazar C. Harel
Allyson Green's "Nada Que Declarar"

Details

Paz Tanjuaquio and Todd Richmond
Joyce Soho
June 1 through 3

Allyson Green Dance
Danspace Project at Saint Mark's Church
June 2 through 4

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The work of both Tanjuaquio and Green emerges from a world enmeshed in violence. The dancing they make, however abstract, offers a another model: moral, cooperative, peaceful.

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