Theater archives

British Choreographer Fragments Time and Space Into Brainy Puzzles


London’s Charles Linehan Company made its U.S. debut; let’s hope this engaging troupe will visit often. Linehan’s Grand Junction and New Quartet, each roughly a half-hour, offer all the challenge and satisfaction of working good, brainy puzzles. But no puzzle has moving parts like Greig Cooke (possessor of heart-stopping postmodern duende) or the enigmatic Andreja Rauch, who, with Ben Ash and Rahel Vonmoos, inhabited St. Mark’s the way stingrays ripple through the sea. Both dances gradually draw together separate but similar individuals over what feels like a vast, hollow space filled only with textured sound, dramatic light, and sometimes billowing haze. Linehan’s choreography is made of gnarly, fragmented, innovative phrases interspersed with resonant pauses forming a kind of connective tissue. The result—a surprising continuity, a flow that mesmerizes. He needs limber dancers with sensitive, clean timing, and he’s got them. —Eva Yaa Asantewaa

Leaping, hurtling, thrusting, and tumbling through luminous ordeals

Since moving here from Germany almost four years ago, Johannes Wieland has created provocative dances that mix austerity and passion, everyday manners and demanding physicality, clarity and mystery, black and white. His music is often abrasive. Men and women are equally bold, driven, and athletic, equally (if rarely) tender. In his new Membrane, where shiny black zippered jackets stand for fragile protective coverings, Eliza Littrell and Julian Barnett worm their way in and out of each other’s sleeves. Later, more dancers turn unzipping jackets and whipping them off into both rhythmic structures and obsessions. In Filtrate, two tall glass display cases host transformations we can only sense. Among Wieland’s vibrant young performers, two children, and two older men (Gus Solomons jr and Keith Sabado), there is talk of a familiar kitchen and ice cubes melting into another state. The meaning’s elusive, but the choreography sears the brain. —Deborah Jowitt