The Human Condition, Rising From the Chaotic Urbanscape
Curt Haworth presented two spirited, innovative works based on his musings on the human psyche in the city and the world. Layered in the chaos of a musical urbanscape by Jonathan Segel, Glass Box opened with a neat line of five limber dancers unfolding, stretching, tumbling, and twirling at varying speeds and levels. Their leonine, assertive ways made Danspace's dimensions seem even more ample. David Fritz's lighting, like late afternoon sun, added monumentality to the presence of these explorers of time and space. It ended, quietly, on a pessimistic note: Anna Sofia Kallinikidou, alone, slumped on the sanctuary's steps, light fading to black. Behind Haworth's downtown, mostly abstract aesthetic, his dancers look profoundly human and individual. In Amnesia, the ensemble seemed to carry Amanda Loulaki's agitation and a violent memory that she struggled to recall and reveal. Both dances afforded just enough mystery to compel and tantalize. Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Out of the Shadows, Said's Reorientalism Lifts Veil of Misrepresentation
Like Edward Said himself, ReOrientalism, a multimedia performance inspired by his most famous work, made quick work of misrepresentation. "Falafel is not Israeli. . . . Raks sharki is not belly dancing," intoned his daughter, Najla Said, during the final performance. The show, presented by the Center for Cultural Exchange, challenged U.S. stereotypes of Middle Easterners, from genie dreams to terrorist nightmares. Seyyide Sultan undulated to the Bardezbanian Middle East Ensemble's oud-laced rhythms, riffing on raks sharki motifs. "It is not for you, this dance," went the libretto. "It is for us, for the women. . . . We dance in shadows." As she glided from left to right, arms snaking, the band mixed in blues-rock flourishes and even a little tumbao cubano. Karim Nagi Mohammed performed the Palestinian version of dabka, a line dance dispersed throughout the Persian Gulf region. Said and Sultan joined him, locking arms and stomping the beat. Behind them the hand of Fatima, projected on-screen, deflected the jealous West's evil eye. Pablo Morales
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