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Flash Review 1, 10-23: Faster, Dancemaker! Thrill! Thrill!
Wynn's Collection Gathers No Moss

By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse

NEW YORK --The riotous dancing of Kevin Wynn's "Carry Me Like Water Reflecting Skin" (seen Sunday night at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church) barely squeezes into a single time and place. Overflowing from the church's wooden floor, into its side aisles, upon its altar, 13 exquisite dancers abandon themselves to Wynn's simultaneously silken and percussive choreography. His incredibly varied phrases go everywhere at once, with occasional softness and even humor, suggesting a universal humanism. Sometimes joyous, sometimes pugilistic and flailing, accompanied by a magnificent score played live by Philip Hamilton, the Wynn Collection wows a packed house with the pure zeal of moving.

When not a part of the action, cinematic, static bodies wait on the outskirts of dancing, sometimes littered in heaps. Not watching but always listening, awaiting the incitement of action. Further away, in the shadows, dancers drop character and towel themselves, breathing deeply between ecstatic bursts, like gymnasts between tumbles. Wynn casts a variety of physiques, and his movement looks equally good on long limbs and short. After their engines really heat up, the dancers add new moments to repeated phrases and the space fills with the smell of sweat. The audience greets the ends of episodes with incendiary applause.

In this intensely physical arena, the individual body is often lost. Individual gesture is lost; action and flow remain in the blur of Wynn's athleticism. Large chunks of group unison fracture into intimate interactions, played against each other. Suddenly, as an accordion plays, a woman is alone, with a welcome emotionality that adds specific personhood -- something like a story emerges. A singer ululates -- the voice of the desert, as I find myself thinking an odd tangential, "I hope these dancers all know how beautiful they are and I hope their beauty is always offered like this, without guile."

Philip Hamilton's musicians must be noted, for their varied, rich, evocative landscapes. Elena Commendador and Yuko Yamaneo's costumes, however, are unflattering. The fervor builds to end like an improv jam gone wild. The crowd rushes to stand as Wynn, his musical collaborators and his collection of exhausted dancers revel in our heartfelt gratitude.

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