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Flash Review 2, 4-27: "New Sex"
A Basic Cabaret from Hollis & Co.

By Maura Nguyen Donohue
Copyright 2001 Maura Nguyen Donohue

I was so tickled to see my own quote (from an earlier DI flash) on Terry Hollis's postcards for "New Sex...a basic cabaret," running through Sunday at P.S. 122, that I missed the description of the work that mentioned "repression." Here I am thinking I got this assignment rather appropriately because, "yum, yum," I'm probably The Dance Insider's most (confessed) salacious Flasher. With a name like "New Sex," I'm thinking we're in for a real banger. But this new sex does not put out, except for a few fleetingly erotic moments spent bent over a chair.

But, though "New Sex" doesn't 'put out,' Hollis and company still put forth some solid performances. Summed up it feels like a pretty dry look at sex, that punches at points but takes a while to warm up. The work is interspersed with stories told by each of the performers of a first-time or strange sexual encounter. These are at times vaguely interesting but a challenge for the pacing of the work. We're overdue for some light and some action by the time the first group dance happens.

When it is dancing, the group doesn't disappoint. Ilaan Egeland, Tamieca McCloud, Tom Price, Julie Rose and Melissa Wynn all join Hollis with skill and sophistication, and Hollis's duet with Price is viral without too much testosterone. A section in which each performer presents an outburst, in what looks like 'charades for modern dancers,' is striking and witty. It's also an excellent lead into a solo for Hollis that moves, moves, moves and reminds me of what I liked about him last time I saw him.

The final group dance has everyone in a constant shift, changing partners around a short bench in a casual way. It's a good groove. The ensemble works well together and moves smoothly through the partnering in a way that sets me at ease. This is how I imagine The General Public imagines a modern dance company's modus operandi might be. Everyone's sleeping with everyone else and nobody minds too much. Of course, it could also just resemble day traders unwinding at an all-night party in the bowels of the City.

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