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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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