Stepping into Tribeca’s Flea to watch an hour of abstract movement, you expect neither glamour nor high drama. But here comes Nina Winthrop and Dancers with four women gorgeous enough for Hollywood. Knockout dances too. Three Lives and Something frames each iconic dancer in her own narrow realm of light. Swathed in sheer bronze or sepia, articulating body parts large and small, they make pushing, scooping, stirring, enfolding, and rotating motions as if air were palpable clay—ordinary moves performed with such investment they might be sacred dance. In a solo excerpted from Prism (2002), Faye Dunaway look-alike Jill Locke creates a dramatic character solely through sensual movement. The previewed Cumulus, a developing work inspired by ancient Egypt’s “immortal” scarabs, includes Maria Antelman’s video of beetles displayed in exquisite close-up and twitching across a blank white backdrop. Dancers, draped in ballet sylphs’ chiffon, parallel the critters’ blocky casing, arched appendages, and minute vibrations.
They Dance the Impossible Dance; The Winner Is Allowed to Stop
Netta Yerushalmy’s dances, like fresh hot spices, are pungent, potent, head-clearing. Her dancers meet near-impossible demands of extreme, propulsive movement and slam into the floor a lot. The enigmatic “events.chance.occurrences”—four abstract works—disregarded the “need” for a distinct beginning, clear transitions between pieces, even logical lighting cues. Guests were still buying tickets and finding seats while dancers clung to a wall or writhed between the backdrop and an amp. Long after one work’s dancers quit the space, its hypnotic film kept rolling. During intermission—yes, they let us up for a break—five guys from the upcoming 7:36 played cards; the loser would have to keep dancing the longest. (As I’d guessed—and hoped—the always fabulous Paul Matteson lost. Bet he cheated!) Best shown in the finely calibrated interlocking movements of a women’s trio in Thesholds, Yerushalmy’s flights of fancy and explosive style rely upon a sturdy infrastructure. E.Y.A.