Andrea Miller and Sidra Bell Tell It Like It Is. Maybe.

New pieces from two choreographers at Dance Theater Workshop

Similar images of fighting for breath or trying to revive someone crop up; Diaz slings Campbell over his shoulder and carries him away. The group that includes Maud de la Purification, Alexandra Johnson, Caroline Kirkpatrick, Zach McNally, and Kendra Samson hoist Diaz overhead and laid out. At several points, Vigilante throws four oval, greeny-gold pools of light on the back wall where the dancers swim vertically.

Varying a little Goldberg: Andrea Miller’s For Glenn Gould, with Dan Walzcak in the foreground
Yi-Chun Wu
Varying a little Goldberg: Andrea Miller’s For Glenn Gould, with Dan Walzcak in the foreground
Uppercase dancing: Alexandra Johnson and Zach McNally in Sidra Bell’s POOL
Yi-Chun Wu
Uppercase dancing: Alexandra Johnson and Zach McNally in Sidra Bell’s POOL

While Miller’s movement—deconstructive in terms of traditional Western forms—has a kind of robustness (perhaps in part because of her work in Israel with Ohad Naharin and his “Gaga” technique), Bell’s is slipperier and, in this piece, it has a decadent, preening quality, as if she wants both to parody and to embrace the forwardness of club dancers’ look-at-me, butt-first presentations. If the rippling and undulating and erratic deformations sometimes take on an underwater look, the black goth costumes and bizarre, wounded-looking makeup (by Johnson) enhance the image of a vampire get-together. One of the phrases printed in the program is “dancing in the dark,” and that “dark” can summon up sweetie-pie romance, ignorance, lust, or bravery in the face of danger. It’s too much to try to parse, and POOL, as it winds toward the end of its 41 minutes, threatens to drown those in the audience whom it’s not still exciting.

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1 comments
Lawrence2011
Lawrence2011

I'm sorry to have to say that whatever you were watching in that third grade piece of choreography from the Gallim company was to me about the level of a cool ny dance piece (I actually sat through that dance travesty a few times)....the Gallim piece was a horrible amateurish mess hiding under the guise of dance...i don't know where this amateur choreographer gets her reputation from but as a lover of dance for many years, I was disgusted by the total lack of vision in this piece of trash, no watchable dance except for a few moments when she allowed her victims to actually show that they can dance...the piece opened with some promising choreography and then just stopped dead...the rest of this mess could have been my neighbor's child emptying out my closets of all the junk I've accumulated over the years, spreading it out in my hallway and then playing with it like a moron...if playing with odd pieces of trash...running around the stage in ugly underwear lifting your dirty looking blouse to show breast, having female dancers look like they were giving head to the male dancers and dropping chairs on the floor is the ultimate state of what critics believe the dance world has risen to then we have reached the end of any hope in developing new and meaningful choreography....i think the NYC dance audience has lost its collective minds supporting "non-dance" crap like this...no wonder dance audiences have dwindled to the minute state it's in...At least the second piece, from choreographer Bell, showed great promise in it's interesting use of movement and dance language that brought out the best in her amazing dancers especially the interesting interplay of the two male leads which was strangely not romantic (it left me thinking about what it was and stimulated my imagination which happens rarely in most of the dance I see)...the music had many different levels as did the choreography.....this was my first experience seeing her company and I was bowled over....the comments I heard from people next to me were "masterpiece", "incredible" ... it felt like the audience was holding its collective breath in anticipation during the whole piece waiting to see where Bell was going to take them next...the woman next to me actually exhaled at the end as if she was lifted up from her chair in wonder...obviously Bell is a force to be reckoned with as opposed to the pseudo ohad gaga mess of the first piece...I'm also glad to read that Deborah Jowitt was able to sift through the grime and nastiness, that other writers posing as dance critics wrote, to see some of the reality of what I and much of the audience saw...

 
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