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Flash Review 2, 8-17:Star Watch
Shining Through the Cat Piss at Galapagos

By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2001 Chris Dohse

Friday night's episode of "Lisa LeAnn and Terry Dean Put on a Dance Show," (at Galapagos in Williamsburg) reminded me of the time my roommate Girlene Perkins and I got stoned in our room in Galveston and he lip-synched to Barry Manilow and tap danced until the shag carpet rubbed his feet raw. That same kind of manic energy. That same dripping heat collapsing into a wilted fit of giggles. That same intimacy. Loosely structured as a Kiwanis Club talent pageant -- "Stars of Tomorrow" -- more than one of Friday night's offerings, like Girlene's, were extensions of charisma and sheer goofball inspiration. As the heat increased in the room, an odor of stale cat piss rose in my nostrils. But this time it wasn't coming from my shoes.

Stacy Dawson, Lisa LeAnn Dalton and Brian Brooks all performed short bursts of solo material that seemed to spring from single ideas, maybe odds and ends rattling around their movement garages. Perhaps relying too much on their own personae, or on the guaranteed insider complicity of the audience, elements of these one-liner exercises will doubtlessly turn up again, folded into the body of something more developed. The connection these players have with their fans is a phenomenon in itself.

Miguel Gutierrez's "Careen‰" played with a truncated movement idea, repeated, reframed, and varied, until it became epic. Slashing arms and legs, stuttering steps that hemmed the dancers (Gutierrez and Michelle Boule) against the wall of the space and stumbling runs whipped, dropped and rolled centrifugally into an endurance challenge.

Antonio Ramos and Ori Flomin danced an untitled work-in-progress as Jane Gabriel stood at a nearby mic, reading some text. This might have been too much to look at and hear at the same time. Specific words and Gabriel's delivery sometimes detracted from the dance, not answering or enhancing the men's apparent struggle of wills and emotions. Flomin's head nudged into Ramos's sweaty armpit seemed an essential transfer of thwarted romantic entanglement. Their partnering worked better than when they separated to execute what looked like filler phrase material.

A lighter duet was Olase Freeman and Holly Handman's "Mea Culpa." Portraying an inebriated guest at a party and her host, the two ended as a rambunctious Fred Astaire and Cyd Charise.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Daniel Clifton's "Call it Birddog" solo three times and it keeps getting better. I'm not sure I know what it's about exactly and I don't care. A friend with me said she couldn't figure out how Clifton felt about the material -- what his point of view was. He mimics a farmyard hick storyteller talking about critters while contorting into quirky postures, then he dances an awkward jig. His comedic timing has improved, and his dancing is more rooted in the earth.

The vibe at Galapagos keeps getting better too, despite the scent of urine. The Stars of Tomorrow have arrived.

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