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Flash Review 1, 2-23:
Coming Out in the Cold
Creach/Company: Worth Braving the Blizzard
By Tamieca McCloud
Copyright 2001 Tamieca McCloud
Creach/Company had one
strike against it before last night's performance at Danspace Project
at St. Mark's Church even began. It was very cold, snowing steadily,
and I wanted to be in my warm apartment -- not going into Manhattan
for an 8:30 p.m. performance.
True to its name, "A
History of Private Life" is a subtle work. It is reflective of moments
which may not be exciting or dramatic enough to hold the interest
of the thrill-seeking public -- but have an emotional affect on,
and value to, those involved. This piece captured the intimacy of
those moments one shares only with friends, family, lovers...if
with anyone at all.
The opening section was
a risky one. The setting started as a box of light in which two
dancers conducted a dialogue of movement. The space was sectioned
off with plastic screen dividers and set with a table and chairs.
From there, other dancers/people transitioned through this ongoing
conversation -- a connection being built amongst all ("six degrees
of separation" comes to mind). It was much like watching the passage
of time and people through the history of a space. It was a very
important section, because it set the air of intimacy for this evening-length
work. I didn't consider how risky it was until after the performance.
Others have tried to enact such a moment and many have failed miserably.
If this section had not been relayed properly, it might have off-set
the rest of the work. But the dancers relayed this moment beautifully.
The collaborative choreography,
along with the lighting design by Garin Marschall, sound design
by Andy Russ, set design and video by Sue Rees and video documentation
by Character Generators provided a seemingly seamless flow of interaction.
There was nothing harsh or jarring. No unnecessary moments of showcasing.
For those not already
aware, Creach/Company is an all-male ensemble. What, sadly, often
accompanies such a mono-sexual collaboration is an over-abundance
of the attributes stereotypically connected to that particular sex.
In this case, I was worried that I would sit through an evening
of watching a showcase of the athletic abilities of the male dancer.
Not so. The most complex partnering showed itself in the catch of
an arm to stop a fall, or the duck of a head to miss a swinging
The dancers worked particularly
well in duets or groups; however, not all of the solos were quite
as engaging as the group and partnering work. The one that does
stand out was by dancer Olase Freeman. I've always enjoyed watching
Olase, whether in a studio or on stage. He has an innate sense of
movement that few possess. His performance last night reconfirmed
my appreciation and respect for this dancer.
"A History of Private
Life" continues at Danspace Project through Sunday, with an 8:30
p.m. curtain. (For more information, visit the Danspace
Project web page.) I don't regret having braved the weather
for this performance, so those that have not yet reserved their
seats should most definitely do so. Terry Creach has something beautiful
to show his audience.
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