Theater archives

Dance Vaudeville and Fusion Dance Troupes Meld Forms and Styles


The Notario Dance Company draws from choreographer Brook Notary’s colorful past in gymnastics, the circus, and martial arts. The most striking numbers use costume and props to turn the human body into protean abstract shapes. From that picturesquely eerie mode comes a woman latched onto an enormous flexible disk of white stretch fabric that she manipulates so it becomes, in dizzying succession, her shield, her shell, her cape, her wings, her shroud. Elsewhere the dancers hang from perilous supports or cantilever off each other’s bodies, suggesting primeval sexual acts. This stuff lacks gravitas. But on a muggy summer night, who’s going to complain?

Stacey Printz calls her creations for the Printz Dance Project “fusion dance.” They meld vocabulary culled from modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, ethnic forms, and contact improv. You’d think the mix would give the choreography vividness and vivacity. Occasionally it does. From These Mountains, to beguiling Hawaiian slack music, evokes visions of the rainbow goddess Iris. Excerpts from 0 – 10 in 17 answer their menacing percussion score with ferocious apocalyptic images. In general, though, while the dances are competent, their themes remain trite and their tone monotonous. Similarly, the able dancers seem theatrically dull.