Theater archives

Gone but Not Forgotten


The Kevin Wynn Collection’s Corpuscle Madness (Cunningham Studio) is a sinuous perpetual-motion machine of sparkly cloth and bare flesh. The dance propels a seamless, satisfying flow of impulse, momentum, and resolution with swings of the head, pelvic rotations, scythelike flashes of limbs. A gleam of hell-bent dancers, each extraordinary, streams past your eyeballs, the women’s solos killer tours de force. Seems Like We Could, an obsession for two, mates solid with fluid, jagged with melty, angry with lyrical. Itapua, pleasurably oceanic and tropical, unfortunately gives way to Territorial Boogie, marred by Glen Branca’s dense, aurally assaultive music. —Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Watching Cherylyn Lavagnino’s “Chapel Songs” (Danspace Project), I imagine her penmanship—finely drawn, rounded script, mannerly in the main but with romantic flourishes. She dips into bottled ink of some brooding color—just enough—and blots the excess. Or she paints a satiny ivory wash over faceless Danspace in tidelike circles and spirals (the new, handsome Chapel Song). Even with fragrant Crayola in her hands (as in the sextet 4-2, with costumes of brown, magenta, purple, teal, and indigo), she aligns, shapes, and reshapes the warm layers of wax just so. Her ballet background offers firm but pliable language that she attempts to infuse with fresh import. Her finest moment, though, is an unforgettable solo for Suzanne Gardner (“Unfolding” in Women’s Suite), luxuriating in the human body, reminiscent of fine figurative painting. Gardner gives a creamy, lush performance notable for expert timing and nuance; not really a large woman, she moves with an ample aura. —E.Y.A.

Grass started as a longing for a grass suit,” confessed Ann Carlson as she crawled into a suit made of Astroturf (“Grass/Bird/Rodeo,” P.S. 122). Candid conversation with the audience was woven into her triptych, converting each solo into an animated painting with a casually charged script. Moving downstage in Grass, she reclined into stillness between Astroturf hills, with a silent concentration that transformed the solo into a visual spell. Then she gathered herself up into a gesture that wound the space around her body and shaped the pictorial scene into a dance. In Bird, she suited up in a bird-burlesque costume and jumped between the personas of a wounded bird and a flashy showgirl in pasties, while strutting to Sinatra and the Sunrise String Quartet. She played a rowdy rodeo showman suffering from amnesia in Rodeo, stumbling around the stage, dropping from an exuberant clarity into confusion until an audience member asked, “What happened?” —Colleen Leonardi

“Salt on Our Skin,” a collection of new and old works by Alan Danielson (Joyce Soho) evoked a climate of introspection and collective explorations. The redundancy of these journeys lessened the impact of certain pieces, as in Harold & Agnes, where two personalities express the same feeling over and over again, arriving at a humorous but labored ending. Jennifer Chin, Debra Noble, and Nina Wallon rose and recoiled under the light in solo and group work and radiated a reverence for the space with each movement. Danielson’s choreography expressed an attentive curiosity that reflected itself in his dancing. —C.L.

Program B of “Black Dance: Tradition and Transformation” (BAM Harvey) played to a packed house, exposing a diverse audience to three groups of young black artists. The local team, Maia Claire Garrison’s M’Zawa Danz, blended African movement style with hip-hop sound and, to dazzling effect, the improvisatory poetry of Carl Hancock Rux, spoken live. A California contingent, Riverside’s Bre Dance Theatre, camped it up, voguing and lip-synching songs by Grace Jones. My heart leaped at Union Dance Company’s subtle rendition of Doug Elkins’s capoeira-inflected movement—Brits of African descent executing the mostly Jewish, part-Chinese choreographer’s four-limbed floats and tumbles on a Brooklyn stage just seemed to bring it all home. The crowd roared. —Elizabeth Zimmer