Theater archives

On the Fence


Women in Cahoots Dance Theatre, a new venture for choreographer Adair Landborn, who teaches at Wesleyan, is a fine idea: seven women performing works about women, created by a woman. But the company’s debut (Cunningham Studio, January) was a puzzle. Landborn’s group pieces, Daughter of God and Deconstructing Tess, combined painfully simplistic ideas (women are victimized, women stick together) with undistinguished modern steps. Her solos, on the other hand, crackled with originality. In Female Distress Dance #6, Landborn (no femme fatale) shimmied in hilarious sequins, then undulated upside down in a plastic doll mask. This lady was a cousin to her brilliant Universal Man, a nebbishy Mr. Magoo with a brown thrift-store suit and tape on his glasses. To a winsome soundtrack featuring Stephen Hawking lectures and Bobby McFerrin singing “Blackbird,” Landborn became a little guy at sea in a big world, who nonetheless says, “Why not!” to kicking up his heels. The movement was twitchy, punchy, and sweet. Landborn might be better off without cahoots. —Alicia Mosier

Everett Dance Theatre’s Somewhere in the Dream, a phantasmagoric exploration of a multicultural, multigenerational community using fragmented text and imagery from Hamlet, Giselle, daytime TV, and a ghetto playground, triumphed at Hostos College. The Providence, Rhode Island-based ensemble, directed by Aaron and Dorothy Jungels, speaks several languages that the Bronx audience took immediately to heart: ballet, homoeroticism, hip-hop, Spanish, acrobatics, rage, virtuosity, revolution. Cambodian youngster Sokeo Ros riveted us with his popping and locking. Maria Monteiro, Marvin Novogrodski, and a dozen others demonstrated the permeability of gender and race. Until you have seen the Wilis represented by rolling panels of chain-link fence, you will not understand the transformative nature of art. —Elizabeth Zimmer