Theater archives

At DTW’s juried show, the well-toned meat outshone the motion


Technical skill outweighed choreographic competence at this season’s Fresh Tracks, where seven emerging artists offered six new works. In Fragile Lodging, Felicia Ballos steps across the stage like a marionette, her lanky legs turned in at the hips and locked at the knees. She vacuously gnaws on a piece of chewing gum while carrying in her arms a television monitor displaying a collage of rural landscapes. Her motions are as vague as her theme. Jonah Bokaer dances to the shrill sounds of cell phone ringtones in RSVP. His isolated and crisply executed movements make obvious his four years in the Merce Cunningham Company, but not much else. In Antigen, Malinda Allen balances voluptuous leaps, splits, and leg extensions with a spoken text about viruses, the stress of ordering a beverage at Starbucks, the spreading infection of hate, and the “dormitory effect” of women’s periods coming into sync. Three illuminated words—infiltration, analogy, perspective —shine on the floor in succession, but fail to add much meaning or help the piece cohere.

Jeremy Laverdure and Daniel Linehan tackle less provocative issues in Esperanto and Digested Noises, respectively. Laverdure and his partner Tracy Dickson bounce, grab, and swipe at each other with a curiously masculine eloquence. As seagulls squawk through the speakers, the couple stretch and twist their limbs, jump backwards, and reconnect with an unforgettable whirling lift. In his solo, Linehan seems to have swallowed a bee. Rolling and crawling on the floor, he mumbles, hums, buzzes, sniffs, and swishes the air between his teeth. His body echoes his guttural noises with flailing arms, quirky hand gestures, and swift stomach contractions. Both these pieces have good bones, but each requires a bit more clarity and drive. A weekend of blueprints, this Fresh Tracks roster boasts accomplished dancers, not choreographic feats.