LeeSaar/The Company: Turf Wars

Sometimes she Tarzan, he Jane

When Harari appears onstage, he presents a coarser, masculinized image of femininity. He’s about Lin’s height, and he too is bare-chested and garbed in low-rise jeans. Standing in one spot, staring joylessly at us, he begins by swiveling his hips on an exaggerated scale, as if drawing a big circle with them—his torso moving forward as they go back, back as they go forward. Eventually he and Lin travel together, sometimes side by side and as close as a person to his or her shadow. Their dancing progress through slow deliberations, pauses, and sudden explosions, sometimes accompanied by taped music, and often subject to high-contrast changes in Levasseur’s lighting. They rarely touch, but occasionally they stand face to face and stare calmly at each other. There was a moment when I was sure the piece was about to end: Lin sits calmly on her heels, geisha-fashion, but very erect, and Harari stands beside her, staring at her. The image is striking, but clearly Harari didn’t want to leave us with that representation of male power and female subservience.

As Geisha progresses, though, I begin to wonder where, if anywhere, it’s heading. The choreography seems to be recycling and slightly developing the same interplay between strength and subtlety, between the dancers’ consciousness of performing for spectators and their meditative development of movements. Sher appears again to sing another song—all easy charm and soaring voice. With a teasing, little-girl coyness, she draws a piece of paper—a letter, I think— from her clothing and reads us in Hebrew what it says. Harari and Lin return to dance, and, despite the often very original and deeply felt choreography, the piece begins to feel long. Then it just dwindles away, with the quiet hum of music still sounding after the lights have gone out.

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