Migrant Cultural Workers


Choreographers from the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, and the U.S. make big splashes in a tiny space at Dance Theater Workshop’s “Fresh Tracks at the Flea” (through March 7). A bathtub is dragged in by Minnesotan Cleo Mack, who mobilizes three ripe beauties (Kelly Grigsby, Melanie Kramer, and Courtney Viar) in pouty combinations to Beethoven. Manila-born Gerald Casel’s Triangle fascinates with intricate partnering to Edward Ratliff’s fusion score. Argentinean Erico Villanueva’s crisp routines for four on a tape stripe evoke an Olympic gymnastics match to an eerie sound mix featuring Ikuko Akari, live and recorded. Cintia Chamecki and Flavia Costa of Brazil tap-dance to the virtuoso guitar of Rogerio Sabatella. Writhing on the floor, Cypriot Maria Hassabi explores the options of a grounded dancer, and Heather Harrington nestles with Grigsby in another floor-bound piece. Surprises abound in this fine show.

Last weekend at the BAM Harvey, a packed house cheered Ronald K. Brown’s new High Life, which traces migratory patterns and similarities between Africans and African Americans heading from rural to urban centers. Part of 651 Arts’ celebration of Katherine Dunham, it spoke eloquently to her concern for her people. Live music, on percussion and turntable, followed the wonderful dancers on their journeys.

Yasuko Yokoshi and Gonnie Heggen’s spoof of royal idiocy (the Kitchen, February) was intriguing, if opaque: Their stylized movements were eloquent, but the verbiage, in French, Japanese, and English, rarely advanced comprehension. Wonderful headgear (including a wig made of ribbon), translucent masks, and accessories demarcated characters; the whole thing called to mind Kurt Jooss’s coruscating Green Table, but on a much smaller scale.

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