A Dark Exploration Brings the House Down in a DUMBO Loft


The space—raw, industrial. The performer—an impassive demon in clunky red shoes and a little dress. In mech[a], based on a Noh play about a woman scorned, koosil-ja embodies vengeance served cold. Geoff Matters creates the soundtrack for her monstrous isolations—foot raised, knee bent, stiff arm pivoting outward, brutal operations of heavy machinery, all lifted from the play, DOJOJI. Watching her feels like being shot, carefully repositioned, then shot again. Harsh sounds shake our guts and teeth. Benton-C Bainbridge’s live video displays trees set against noxious, fiery-orange skies, shedding ashes. As mech[a] gives way to its companion piece, OUTPUT, the woman morphs into a white snake, fully unleashing passion and chaos. (At one point, she lies supine, her head perhaps only a half-inch below the wild pendulum swing of a heavy video monitor.) koosil-ja, as compelling an artist as one can imagine, has produced a searing, cleansing, ultimately liberating new program.

Feel The Paintings And See The Music In High-Tech Romp

Their curious handle, Esse Aficionado, boils down to something like Life = Devotion, and any encounter with this ambitious young troupe—headed by Veronica De La Rosa, Gina Graham, and Maki Morinoue—is similarly intense. It was a kick to see “Diorama,” their latest show, in the Cunningham Studio, for they love to mix it up like Merce, changing a work’s performers, movement, costumes, and/or music, and using sound and projections issuing live from high-tech devices manipulated by chance. They have a certain obsession with making and unmaking spatial patterns, and they traffic in mannequin-like isolations and eccentric lighting cues. The four abstract dances, keenly performed, mostly just filled the eye but did afford subtle revelations. The women of Successions (Morinoue) appeared to dance the “score” of paintings tacked up behind them, and the organized awkwardness and abrupt shifts in History (Graham) really looked like the Clash songs selected for this particular evening. This must be what synesthesia feels like.

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