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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 arm.

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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