Earl Mosley’s dancers need full-throttle gusto and dramatic daring—especially when holding their own against that giant of song Nina Simone. For his Joyce Soho season—”Still Moving!”—Mosley floridly dramatized the ups and downs of romance (Confessions of a Loving Heart) and sketched a few poignant, goofy, and beloved characters from his life (Scattered Pieces of Bubb! and Brides and Widows!). His works and four pieces by guest choreographers, all crafted for mainstream accessibility, were well served by the large, culturally diverse assembly of women. But top honors must go to the Ailey troupe’s exquisite Dwana Smallwood (working a slinky, expressive Mosley solo to Simone’s “Since I Fell for You”), powerhouse Marjani Forte (taking charge of Brandon Ellis’s choreography and overcoming this listener’s “Strange Fruit” fatigue), and Michelle Smith, who applied finesse and focus to every single moment.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 8, 2005