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Flash Review 1, 6-12: Chew on This
Chowing Down with Chef Haim & Co.
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse
Mark Haim's Food for Thought program,
seen Sunday night at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, packed eighteen dances,
each a maximum of three minutes in length, into just over an hour. An impressive,
multi-generational roster of artists represented the incestuous olla podrida of
the downtown NYC dance world, which is indubitably a phenomenon. Some of their
works were propelled by the performers' charisma; some were studies in form or
concentrated on elements of composition. Few choreographers got "heavy";
some reveled in schtick. Some works were excerpts from existing, seasoned favorites;
some were works-in-progress or improvisations. From veterans on familiar terrain
(Vicky Shick, Ishmael Houston-Jones) to youngsters flexing in their undies (Lawrence
Keigwin), Haim's frenetic, flirtatious talent show had nary a stinker.
Two duets -- "Give Me Your Hand"
by Bill Young and Colleen Thomas and "Doscupido Ocupado" by Wil Swanson
and Joshua Zimmerman -- touched on some intangible something, perhaps the frailty
of relationships. Each piece was beautifully performed by its creator teams. Young
and Thomas caressed each other through an effortless series of lifts, while Swanson
and Zimmerman energized the air between their bodies with movement that evolved
like bipeds from the ooze.
From the rest of the bewildering
array, a barrage of images: Terry Creach withstanding the attack of his fellows
with cantilevered lifts ("Home for Boys/Field Trip"). Chris Yon jumping
out of his shoes and making the most of his moues in "May an Elephant Caress
You with Its Toes." His darted glance at an aleatory baby's cry endeared
him to us. Ben Munisteri as a long snaky avatar ("harddrive.wav"). Keely
Garfield's post-Pina feminist girlikins ("Free Drinks for Girls with Nuts").
Minneapolis-based Devin Carey, in "Ta-Da!", satisfying our clownish
aspirations, down to the blossoms on his butt. Karinne Keithley stealing our hearts
with "Uke Act for the Lonely" and one well-timed shift of weight on
the altar of the church.
I couldn't take an evening of theatre
like this every night. So many unanswered questions. Seen all in a jumble, these
artists remind us to celebrate the energy that makes New York a center for just
this kind of dance.
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