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Flash Review 2, 6-1: Commitment
Imago Falls Just Short in "I Dos"
By Maura Nguyen Donohue
Copyright 2001 Maura Nguyen Donohue
Imago Dance Theater's "Knee Deep
in I Dos," seen last night at University Settlement, uses the idea of the nuptial
agreement as springboard into a rather light-hearted look at everyday commitments.
While commitment can be of the grit-your-teeth and make-the-leap-of-faith variety,
I was reminded that it can also reveal itself as a promise. While this fresh,
young dance company was often lacking the kind of strong intent that could bring
it, and us, to a new level it does offer promising beginnings.
So: This assignment was suggested
to me as one of Dance Insider's resident newlyweds. But, in truth, it was the
idea of the other commitments that brought me in -- finding as I am recently that
a concerted commitment to my own company is hitting me in a significantly more
profound way than bowing to Vietnamese and Chinese ancestors did. But, Erica Murkofsky
leads her dancers into personal explorations that don't delve too deeply. The
evening is full of charm and vitality. "Fierce Attachment," danced by Murkofsky
and Meredith Mandel, is the most finely refined work. This is a talented company
of nice dancers. The younger members are full of vitality, but haven't settled
into their bodies in quite the same manner. The duet shows two dancers seasoned
enough to allow each moment its fulfillment versus crashing through dances.
Of course, crashing through a dance
isn't a bad thing if you're Nicole Rosenblum, whose fiery performance of "At the
Seams" reclaims a work that teetered early on with too many jazzy movements to
befit the story set up on stage. A trio for Tara Glazier, Rosenblum and Antonietta
Vicario "Tangle," would stand well on its own as a work of well-executed partnering,
especially without the extraneous pretense of a family portrait. "What we do,"
a dance theater piece about waitressing, and "Audition" are both comedic looks
at the hassles and humiliations of many a dancer.
The final dance, "To Be Sure of You,"
was too much like a contact improv exercise placed on stage. What the dancers
are doing is interesting and I could be engaged in the obvious challenge of some
of the sequences, but the pacing is off and the compositional structure is weak.
The sextet could have been an exquisite duet or an exciting examination of real
risk-taking and mistake-making. But as it stands (jumps and spins) the dancers
get in each other's way and the unison is off. Ravel's "Bolero‰" only heightens
the sense that the dancers are marking time as they pause between each partnered
moment. With a little more risk, I'd be stumbling over myself in praise. It's
so close you can taste it. All this dance needs is some serious commitment.
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