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Acrobatic dance popped up everywhere this season, in major productions by Momix, Pilobolus, and Montreal’s delicious Cirque Éloize as well as Jody Sperling’s more modest show downtown. The eight-member Artichoke Dance Company, led by Lynn Neuman, also presents gymnastic feats in the context of accessible theatrical entertainment with charming costuming, lights, and sound design (the typical New Age–to-tribal range). The premiered sextet, Look At Me (when I talk to you), a dramatic compendium of human interactions, has standout performances by Neuman, Cary McWilliam, and Melissa Riker. What sets Artichoke apart is its ability to convey character, emotions, and relationships through—not merely despite—all the skillful circus tricks. When couples tumble and whirl, you see and feel the ebullience and exhilaration of love in the air. Even a frisky quartet of upturned legs and feet—two women lying on their backs, faces
hidden—can convincingly emote and gesture.