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Dancer’s Night Out gave three outstanding dancers choreographic carte blanche. In Self-Obliteration Companion, Heather Kravas’s movement erupted from the inside out, all reflexes, nervous tics, and violent thoughts. Her undiluted intensity and lack of guile balanced mind-numbing repetitiveness—she bounced her weight from leg to leg while her upper body went for a roller-coaster ride, accelerating until her hair stood on end. Later, nine others joined her to perform precision linework with their arms before leaving her—nude, in a tenuous arabesque. Renee Redding Jones structured Nudging Towards Normal with a narrative of existence outside the norm. She struck powerful poses as if midway through an action, studying us while moving to her next frozen articulation. Shooing an invisible pest from overhead, she leaned back, fluttered her eyelids, and confronted her demons in solitude. Karen Graham’s Opening Movement in a Still Life was the evening’s comfort food, with oversize floor lamps and melodic rock. Graham used the proximity and interplay among four dancers to spin an enticing emotional web. She evoked the strength and dignity of a flamenco dancer, paired elegantly with journeyman dancer Tricia Brouk, who adds technical polish to every work she’s in.
At the Kitchen, John Moran began The Goldberg Variations rambling like a nut, but after the second reprise, we learned every syllable was intentional. He manipulated theater scenes the way techies handle sound—layering, looping, sampling. Providentially, his neighbor—actress and choreographer Saori Tsukada—joined him, radiating enough verve and carefree charisma to balance Moran’s neurotic idiot artiste. Moran and Tsukada, in separate orbits, lip-synched dialogue (on tape, with Moran’s beloved Bach), neutralizing the ad hoc feel. The oddly soothing, repeated movement phrases provided the visuals for this intoxicating mental workout.