From 500 applicants the folks at Colloquium Contemporary Dance Exchange chose 125, scattering them onto concert programs over 11 days. If you bought a “dancecard” for $10 at last Wednesday’s launch, and use it at every possible opportunity, you’ll have caught all 125 for a total of $60, and you’ll need a chiropractor really badly. You’ll also know what a new generation of dancers— and a fair sprinkling of veterans— are up to.
Opening night’s “double feature” deployed 18 pieces; coincidentally, five of the seven on the early roster included choreography by artists of Asian descent. Kuan Hui Chew, wearing a complicated skirt made of panels of varied lengths, glided across the Joyce Soho stage manipulating a yellow silk fan dusted with sequins, to music by Wu Chin-tai; Chrissy Chu appeared to fall apart, the victim of romantic agony, accompanied by Stevie Wonder. The most accomplished piece on this bill was Pat Catterson’s octet for dancers wielding yellow rubber balls. Free of personal angst and calling forth the appreciation of pure form, it was a blessing amid some very private, obscure work.
The faster and funnier late show featured a charming duet by Stuart Hodes and Alice Teirstein, this one chronicling the habits and compromises of feisty old lovers. Molly Rabinowitz choreographed a terrific quartet for tumbling contact improvisers, juxtaposed to arias from Carmen; she and Karl Anderson, Erika Kinetz, and Tom O’Connor have timing and power to spare. Cati Blanche and George Bennett tried visual jokes, with mixed results. Robert Battle’s trilogy, fiercely rhythmical, mickeymouses its music; a protégé of David Parsons, Battle’s still trying to channel Paul Taylor, but his dancers Jason Mcdo and Katarzyna Skarpetowska are a pair to watch. Catch more double features Wednesday through Friday, and a star-studded “Main Event” Saturday.