The Mysterious East Frames the Debut of Clark’s New Troupe
La MaMa E.T.C.
74A East 4th Street
Through February 8
Billy Clark’s Place Poems, the debut of his troupe Dusara Dance, looks and sounds like a magnet for possibly too many Eastern artistic elements—Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Iranian. Inspired by Sufi poets Rumi and Hafiz, the hour-long work begins as masked, white-clad Clark stands outside a curtain that conceals the dance space. It ends similarly, the curtain once again veiling the path to the Beloved. Between these margins—through limpid or violent music, video images of rustling branches, drifting clouds and rushing streams, flawless solo and ensemble dancing—we witness the passion of wind and water, suggesting the otherwise unfathomable nature of the divine. The dancers, when not moving butoh-slow or synchronizing yoga stretches, become overwhelmed by unseen forces or seized by a compulsion to arch and strain skyward. Some moments have curious radiance—like Rob Laqui balancing a bucket atop an outstretched palm while maintaining his own serene equilibrium.
She’ll Drink If She Wants To, and Sparkle, and Choreograph
It’s My Party: An Evening With Ede Thurrell
Clemente Soto Vélez Center
Ede Thurrell’s best moments are itty-bitty starbursts like her new solo Living End 1 (Isadora Duncan technique danced in jeans and a bare midriff top to David Bowie) or Julie Atlas Muz’s Death of a Showgirl. Feathered, spangled, and clearly plastered, the showgirl teeters on stilettos and smokes cigarettes double-fisted, more self-destructing flamingo than dying swan. It doesn’t hurt that Thurrell’s beautiful. She obviously relishes surface glitter but also integrity of form and precise timing. (See her negotiate the order-within-chaos ragamuffin moves of Kraig Patterson’s Crackhead Waltz.) That one-two punch makes a piece like her Living End 2—rendered with noteworthy confidence by youngsters Eden Deering and Elsie Vieira—enchanting despite feeling too drawn out. Gotta mention the climax of Now: choreographer Glen Rumsey sweeping the space with a huge train of clear plastic tied around his waist like an abstract, astonishing Chinatown dragon!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 27, 2004