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2, 7-16: Bludgeoned with Intimacy
Marcotty Mines Simplicity with Risky Tactics
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2002 Chris Dohse
NEW YORK -- The structure of Fiona
Marcotty's "You Were. We Are. I Was. I Was" program at Joyce Soho, seen Sunday
night, reveals Marcotty as a choreographer willing to take risks, willing to struggle
with ideas as well as movement invention, and willing to dig exhaustively within
a simple form: six male/female duets.
Marcotty dances three of the duets.
In the first two of these, she maintains a silent, melancholy presence, while
her partner/collaborators, Rotem Tashach and Cyrus Khambatta, seem a bit unhinged.
She dresses her men in black dresses to match her own so they read as extensions
of her or empaths of the feminine rather than potential mates. She and Tashach,
in "Avalanche," convulse in Victorian petticoats like two Catherines without a
Heathcliff while strings saw Vivaldi catgut. When they eventually embrace, she
carries him like a sleeping child. In "Creation Myth I," Khambatta dances a repetitive
gestural solo in an upstage corner while Marcotty sits in a downcast heap downstage.
Her brief contact with him seems to leave her spent, defeated, scooped out.
In "Triptych," three pairs of partners
investigate variations of coupled relationship, beginning with a somewhat creepy
solo. A harsh spotlight pins Carlo Rizzo in antiseptic elegance. He approaches
us slowly and indirectly, ranting silently while strutting to a cocky disco beat.
Taisha Paggett joins him; they proceed to sashay and flail, mouths always eerily
working, to the deafening noise of essential disconnection. A natural comic, Luke
Miller's oddball Astaire woos Ashley Smith's high-school-prom Charisse, their
two solos rarely engaging each other. The lovely Isabel Gotzkowsky and Jon Zimmerman
are the most connected pair of the evening, dancing more as a couple in real phrase
material and an episode of contact-based roly-poly that almost suggests hope amid
the human wreckage of the other dysfunctional interactions.
Marcotty has assembled a fine cast
of real dancing people who slouch within eight-pointed ballet space to expose
its artificial theatricality. Her movement is intimate and humane, motivated by
feeling. She doesn't seem to prophecy much happiness to be found in pairbonding,
but makes it seem an inevitable animal activity where distinctions between want,
need, and love become fluid, free of gender-prescribed behavior, sometimes funny
and subtle, and sometimes as awkward as a bludgeon.
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