Theater archives

Less-Is-More Choreography Yields Hints of Human Predicaments


Pam Tanowitz’s new Storage (many meanings lurk in that title) starts off simply. Her quintet of dancers, four women and a single man, parses the space with bold, clear gestures. As the dance progresses, energy, pace, and implications increase. The choreography evolves from walking to whirling, from moves as plain as street signs to the complex body language of emotional enigmas. While the dance is certifiably abstract, it constantly suggests human issues. Throughout the piece, the man seems to be singling out one of the women from her sisters, but in the last moments, when the others finally fall away, he and his chosen one assume a confrontational stance, their faces astonished and puzzled. While Tanowitz’s sternly limited vocabulary indicates an adamant commitment to austerity, I wonder if her work might usefully admit more overtly expressed feeling—for its lushness and for its thrilling invitation to confront chaos head-on.