Formed 30 years ago, Jennifer Muller/The Works pleased audiences averse to the stark rigor and fierce iconoclasm of early postmodernism. Not much has changed over time. Muller’s brand-new Flowers lulls the viewer with trips into one lush landscape after another, where powerful, fluent, and downright gorgeous dancers perform hypnotic rituals extolling the human relationship to the wonders of nature. Danced behind a scrim on which are projected Barbara Bordnick’s lavish botanical close-up photos, the piece moves from season to season, incorporating motifs from Indian dance into Muller’s standard mix of ballet, Graham, and jazz, all the while making sex seem as simple as pollination. This stuff is not going to give your brain a huge workout, but it’s temptingly easy on the eye and balm to the spirit longing (whose doesn’t?) for loveliness and repose. If it’s depth you’re after, you’ll be bored silly halfway through.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2004