Surfers and Steppers


“An Evening of High-Endurance Dance,” Molly Rabinowitz’s March program of kinetic constructions, transformed WAX into a dance playground for grown-ups. Yoga and gymnastics augment her vocabulary, pushing her adventurous dancers to explore their physical limits. In Serenity Now, Rabinowitz and Rick Michalek bounce off the walls in a duet set to toy piano. They face off in dance brinkmanship eventually ceding to peace—inverted, feet sole-to-sole, contemplative gazes locked. In Edge, three dancers giddily build a pyramid of backbends. Karl Anderson belly-surfs like a maniac, and later steals the spotlight in Dance World, a hilarious deadpan Flashdance send-up. Rabinowitz and Erika Kinetz barre-spar in Liquid Grip, charging full-speed at the barre and spinning around it on arched backs—gymnasts gone wild. Even with no soundtrack, Spring sustained a pulsing respiratory rhythm. The dancers sliced through splits and pelvic pivots and strewed bouquets of flowers with childlike glee. —Susan Yung

Postmodern dance converted us long ago to the belief that a choreographer can mix dance languages with impunity. Still, Darrah Carr Dance (Cunningham Studio, March) remains a novelty. The main vocabulary it calls into action is Irish step dancing, which lends a particular buoyant rhythm to its more common elements: mixed-style modern, basic ballet, and a touch of tap. Carr’s latest work, Melange 45, exploring rhythmic design within constricted spaces, has fleeting moments in which the odd coupling moves beyond the status of clever idea to make visceral dance sense. Carr’s coming to a richer understanding of modern dance resources should make the experiment even more rewarding. Meanwhile the dancing of the all-female troupe is sufficiently beguiling: lusty and luscious where appropriate, elsewhere as light, calm, and carefree as the early spring breeze. The lovely, witty costumes by Tara-Marie Perri, one of the performers, constitute an event in themselves. —Tobi Tobias

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 15, 2003

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