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Flash Review, 1-18:
Altered, Sculpted, but Theatre?
Falling into Cardona's K Hole
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse
In "Trance Territory,"
which opened last night at the Joyce Theater, Wally Cardona captures
the disembodied quality of what rave culture calls falling into
a K hole. A sustained interval wherein, to a faraway throb, the
body becomes desperately inert, followed by a resurfacing where
everything surrounding you goes all frantic, erratic and slashing.
The interiority of Cardona's dancers' performances also captures
the Narcissism of the scene. But do these altered and sculpted states
make a fulfilling evening of theatre?
I don't know what the
costume designer (Jill Anderson) was thinking. The dancers (Johanna
Kotze, Kathryn Sanders, Matthew Winheld, and Cardona) are initially
caught frolicking in a pool of light, dressed like red lobsters
with their legs on fire. Perhaps then they visit Hell, or a fetishishistic
sex shop, where they try on Gladiator and Slave Maiden costumes,
before reappearing in sheaths of pure white.
Cardona's movement vocabulary
becomes familiar fast. But the craft of his composition corrals
the chamber dancing of his quartet into surprising vistas. The live
mix by DJ Small Change, a.k.a. James Dier, and Roderick Murray's
brilliant and moody lighting design turn the stage space into a
Each dancer gets a juicy
slouch-sexy solo. A floor grid places them in architectonic space
like the blurred bodies of Bacon, while their somehow grand, iconic
stances suggest Blake. The score is snaky, syrupy with chaos, and
the movement does it justice. The solos might be too self-involved,
might collapse too much into their own gorgeousness, but moments
of group work provide variation. The dancers are so tight you could
bounce a dime off of 'em.
Oh, yeah ...fulfilling
as theatre? A voyeuristic pleasure certainly. A provocative hybrid
of two types of dance floor. A tribal ritual that might be more
fun to do than to watch.
The Wally Cardona Quartet
performs again Sunday night at 7:30 p.m., and next Thursday at 8
p.m. For more information, please visit the
Joyce web site.
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