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Flash Review 1, 3-2:
Hay Hay Hay
...Goes "Boom Boom Boom" at Danspace Project
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse
At the end of "Boom Boom
Boom," Deborah Hay holds a disk-shaped rattle over a quivering sheet
of blue paper and the objects are transformed into the moon rising
over a troubled sea. Mother Earth heaving for Father Sky. Hay's
evening of solo work, seen last night at Danspace Project at St.
Mark's Church, is full of similarly bewitching odd transformations
and visual poetry. Funny and profound and perplexing and sad and
sweet, this Judson jester casts a spell of singular Hayness.
The program begins with
a vibration from the church's balcony, Alvin Lucier playing two
pure wave oscillators, whatever they are. Singer Elizabeth Farnum
pierces his hum with her clear, ethereal tone. The piece they perform,
Lucier's Solo Number 2, combines with Jennifer Tipton's lighting
to create a space never more holy, more cleansed. Then Hay enters,
in her 1998 work, "The Other Side of O." Clad in black trousers
with blood-red heels, from her first muttered sounds and hesitating
poses she commands the space with a palpable acuity. She makes noise
with her shoes; is it Flamenco rhythms she's being possessed by,
or tap? A bird-headed grandeur?
The tremendous and peculiar
Australian dancer Ros Warby then dances 1999's "Fire." Performing
Hay's vocabulary of beginnings and endings of phrases, an abbreviated
language without vowels, she listens to a music nobody's ever heard.
With her long, incredible legs, she is subtle and satisfying and
almost unbearably there. After intermission, Hay performs the same
dance. Her black trousers are now accessorized in white and she
wears a jaunty chapeau. Her different body and different emphasis
reveal different nuances in this strange character who's endeared
herself to us.
For "Boom Boom Boom,"
Hay dons turquoise and enters chomping an enormous cigar, a sitcom
sendup of a cigar store Injun. She displays the comic timing of
a postmodern Tomlin, but her '21st century earth dance' is more
than funny -- it's a cautionary tale about the loss of the magical
in our daily lives.
In her program notes
for "Fire," Hay writes: "Dancer and dance are alive with images
ranging from slut to angel, animal, vegetable, mineral, water, light,
love, god, spirit, dust, beauty, universe, etc." The moments of
inspired etcetera from which she composes her material flow from
a heightened awareness of the present, a present that encompasses
the viewer and performer alike in magical complicity.
Deborah Hay continues
at Danspace Project through Sunday, with performances at 8:30 p.m.
For more information, please visit the Danspace
Project page on our site.
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