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

Details

Gallim Dance: For Glenn Gould
Sidra Bell Dance: POOL
Dance Theater Workshop
January 18 through 22

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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