Taiwanese Choreographer's Craft Is Bound By Its Own Beauty
Nai-Ni Chen's Unbroken Thread feels like a big dream with "scary" archetypal elements that actually exhilarate rather than terrify. Dancers are secreted within or attached to a mass of thick, knotted ropes (designed by Myung Hee Cho), spilling from the theater's overhead grid, that become props, delineations of space, definitions of relationship. Throughout life's passagesfrom birth through death, movingly depictedthe dancers never truly break their invisible interconnections. Similarly, Chen's choreography and her troupe can't escape the beauty we've come to expect of them. (Count the number of "Ah!"s you hearor breatheafter dances such as Incense or Raindrops.) There's unusually discordant, sometimes violent material in Unbroken Threadblack, dreadlocked Eddie Stockton, one of Chen's newest performers, falls victim to a highly stylized lynchingyet the movement's formal integrity and opulent presentation consistently put audiences at ease. Is this loveliness a blessing or a bind? Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Succumbing to Glimpses of a Poet's Soul and a Closet
Emerging choreographer Dusan Tynek opened his program with Pilot's Dream, in which Keith Sabadoall delicacy, precision, and innocencefalls to earth like Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince and makes life's vexing personal relationships luminous with imagination. Ambitious beyond its power to deliver, the piece is filled with vision, charm, and wit. Charge, less adventurous but more coherently crafted, departed from the familiar infernal-machine response to Philip Glass music by effectively pitting a soloist against the ensemble and allowing human desire and effort to show. Richard Daniels (big, craggy, unabashedly middle-aged) redeemed the ramshackle Wardrobe Spectre, flinging motley garments at nearly nude bodies beautifula Goddess of the Thrifts, issuing invitations to the dance. I enjoyed the opening piece most. I have a fatal weakness for art that preserves uncorrupted the poetic fantasies of childhood. Such personal inclinations, as potent as they are inexplicable, are what make criticism so subjectiveso, you might say, unfair. Tobi Tobias
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in New York.