Theater archives

Slivers & Strobes


To pair Sally Silvers’s Strike Me Lightning (P.S. 122, closed)—an extravaganza if ever there was one—with yet another dance struck me as perverse; human beings can only absorb so much creativity in one evening. Nevertheless, Silvers and Keely Garfield, in pink thrift-shop frocks, opened with Same Doll Same Place, a tilty duet that set the bill’s dense, eccentric tone. Strike Me Lightning, the 30-section main event, provided a surfeit of musical and visual stimuli. Most luminous were the stunning private encounters in Bryan Hayes’s rectangular frames, set high in an upstage wall, that let us focus tightly on a single body part or a simple interaction. Out on the larger stage, a tribe of dancers—”nuns” first, in wimples, tight tops, skirts, and gray knee pads, and later “cyborgs” with complex headgear and illuminated midriffs—ventured intimate contact (feet in each other’s hair, say) while Haena Kim crooned texts and tunes designed and mixed by Bruce Andrews. Dan Evans Farkas contributed additional electronics and a flock of robotic, hopping toy balls. Much too complicated, this metaphysical exploration, but never less than engrossing.

In Human Behaviors (Danspace St. Mark’s, closed), Brendan McCall and Keith Thompson scattered a corps of dancers (themselves with Alexandra Beller, Kathleen Fisher, and Joe Poulson) wielding beams of light across the sanctuary floor, and to a medley of recorded sound showed tai-chi-inflected movement. Grounded in compelling physical technique, each man’s craft involves the ability to concentrate the audience’s attention; even amorphous structure will hold you if the performances are clear enough, and nearly every moment in this and Thompson’s Suite Dean, to tunes recorded by Dean Martin, arrests the eye. Observing such precise placement in the service of Vegas jazz rhythms is a rare treat in a downtown space.