New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women and girls. Click here to see a sample of our products and a
list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance at its best.
Go back to Flash Reviews
Review 2, 2-12: All in the Family
Grounded in the Duet with Bridgman & Packer
By Gus Solomons jr
Copyright 2003 Gus Solomons jr
NEW YORK -- Art Bridgman
and Myrna Packer have been teamed up in life and art since 1978.
Over the years they've made their mark in duet concerts of their
own dances. Now, at 40-something, the couple dances with patina:
smooth physical easiness that occasionally borders on downright
offhandedness and has improvisational spontaneity, and they keep
us engaged wtih a fair amount of vigorous mutual lifting. Recently,
they have been exploring video technology to enhance their presentation
without adding personnel.
In their Joyce SoHo
concert (February 6-9) the duo made fascinating use of shadows.
In "Carried Away," danced to Glen Velez's percussive music, they
moved in front and in back of a large red curtain lighted form the
rear, playing with scale, growing larger and smaller in relation
to each other. Two segments featured unison passages with one dancer
visible, one in silhouette. Another section, all in silhouette,
left us guessing who was where and which way they were facing, as
their shadows grew from normal to giant size.
appeared with mom and dad in "Cups," part chess game, part rhythm
study. They plopped plastic tumblers on their dinner table in multiple
configurations. Seventh-grader Davy (a first-degree black belt in
karate) has performed with his parents for four years, and -- a
la European-postmodernism -- he wore socks in performance.
"Point A to Point B
(You can't get there from here)" used video -- by Bridgman in collaboration
with video arts students from Ramapo College in New Jersey -- of
people trying to give complicated directions to nameless locations.
A suburban husband and wife argued about the simplest versus the
shortest routes; an older woman knew what streets to turn on and
which way, but couldn't remember the names of those streets. Some
of the subjects were projected onto Bridgman's bare torso, as he
writhed slowly in the projector beam. Then, again to Velez music,
Packer joined him for a dance episode against a full-screen auto
journey through the Jersey countryside: woods, power lines, houses
and hills. Here, the video predominated; I have no idea what they
At the opening of the
premiere, "Seductive Reasoning," Bridgman videotaped Packer live.
As he slowly rotated the camera, five echoes of her image made kaleidoscopic
patterns behind her. Then Jim Monroe and Peter Bobrow's video projection
that covered the entire rear wall allowed Bridgman and Packer to
dance with life-size video images of themselves -- reminiscent of
the French troupe Montalvo-Hervieu
only more modest. Robert Een added his divinely inspired music for
cello and tenor voice to his recorded score, featuring percussionist
Hearn Gadbois and guitarist John Guth.
Bridgman did a duet
with himself. Both of him carried rectangular frames, but the video
version kept changing size: he got bigger, his frames got smaller.
Packer let her long, silken Rapunzel tresses (Hairfabric by Genevieve
Platt) fall from atop a suspended sheet on which her video self
lounged. Both paired up, in the flesh, with the video version of
the other in a double duet.
Bridgman and Packer's
ideas are smart and entertaining -- up to a point. What keeps their
work from soaring is their penchant for launching into a wonderful
idea and then exploring it at length without actually developing
it. More editorial rigor could transform the work from clever to
eloquent. Liz Prince's simple costumes are, as usual, both.
Go back to Flash Reviews