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“Fresh Tracks,” the juried selection of works co-presented by Dance Theater Workshop and the Bat Theater Company (Flea Theatre, through January 23), includes dances dominated by the body speaking loudly for itself. Some performers’ words succeed only when clearly aligned with their bodies’ agenda. Jordan Fuchs’s ungainly opener, Bait, sets the tone. In the Flea’s narrow confines, he looks like a trapped hawk, the tension in his hands more articulate and furious than words could be. At first, baton twirler Dixie FunLee Shulman (Twirl) seems a pudgy, loopy wannabe talking about being a fat girl in majorette competitions, but her awesome twirling skill grabs our attention. By the time the piece ends—silently—Shulman has become a powerful, beautiful woman. Erica Essner’s From Beneath Her Gaze—performed by Daniela Hoff—expresses sweeping, obsessive passion in physical terms, with a body intent on stretching itself to every extreme. In Yanira Castro’s Cartography: verano, Castro and Nancy Ellis resemble radiant mythic beasts, glamorous and terrifying, in a strange precinct evoked by Philip W. Sandstrom’s expert lighting and William J. Grabek Jr.’s heraldic music.
Unnamed Bone is a dizzying aerobic workout by and for Luciana Achugar and Levi Gonzalez, with their twin-like height and weight, clothing, dusky disheveled hair, and dazed expressions, their swirly, twitchy butts and jerking knee joints. Their bodies stun their minds and run the show. As the evening’s talkiest performer, the last, and the one with the least atmospheric lighting, Alice Jane Klugherz seems the most nakedly human. In Symptoms, her humanity leaps across the tiny distance between performance area and audience. She’s a good physical comedian, and she’s picked an ideal subject—menopause, a virtual swamp of medical fuzziness and societal prejudice—for an amusing commentary on the body’s willfulness and mysteries.