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
Flash Review, 8-28: Telling Tales
Frit & Frat on the Rat Race, "Gypsy Tales" for Kids, and More Stories
from the Fringe
By Gus Solomons jr
Copyright 2003 Gus Solomons jr
NEW YORK -- Energetic
and rambunctious in the way clean-cut California youths used to
be depicted in movies, Frit & Frat Fuller's Kin Dance Company blew
into town on the day after the Great Blackout of 2003, arriving
with virtually no time to rehearse for their first performance at
the Linhart Theatre on Lafayette Street, across from the Public
Theater. The Fuller twins -- identical, except for Frat's afro --
direct the nine-dancer troupe. "The Daily Grind," their satirical
take on the corporate rat race showed more spunk than craft or finesse.
But it's still early in their careers.
Five short dance skits,
lasting only about 40 minutes, depicted aspects of the quotidian
routine. "Anxiety" had people entangled in thick cords unrolling
themselves on the floor. Kenji Yamaguchi, in a business suit, leapt
and dodged the ropes, which rippled like sonic waves -- or the silk
fabric in Alvin Ailey's "Revelations." He's a slight dancer with
huge flexibility and impressive tumbling skills, whose every move
looked studied for perfection of line. Then the twins, on stilts,
menaced the hapless junior exec.
more characters: a slithering, acrobatic female, who yakked into
her cell phone, two other hyper-flexible women, and another man.
After acrobatic shenanigans, tossing briefcases and diving into
each others' arms, they all crammed themselves onto the single subway
car bench. In "The Bored Meeting" (yes, the humor's that broad),
four employees dozed behind boss Stephen Contreras's back, while
he scribbled on a chalk board. They wound up ousting him and hijacking
the meeting. "Pale Forest" was a jazzy interlude, the relevance
of which to the narrative escaped me, but here, too athletic dancing
started with three male shoppers tussling over a shopping cart.
Then, to the R&B ballad "(Hey, Girl), Things Are Gonna Get Easier"
everyone danced a lyric-jazz finale, having shed their business
suits for all-white dance clothes, as if to say "Oh, never mind!"
The earnestly friendly, highly skilled dancers also included Jessica
Peasant, Jessica Walker, Sara Segulin, Andre Zachery, and Gabriel
At the Washington Square United Methodist Church, Astoria-based
Treaders in the Snow offered Japanese-American choreographer Naeko
Shikano's "Seraphita," which translated a 19th-century story by
Balzac, set in Norway, into a 30-minute dance. The androgynous title
character becomes the object of affection of both Wilfrid and Minna,
man and woman, who fall in love, respectively, with the female and
male sides of Seraphita. But she/he loves only God and wants them
to marry each other.
Glacially slowly, to
Yasuhiro Kato's score of wailing voices, the dancers, Megumi Onishi
(Minna) and Shikano (Wilfrid) approached a black-robed shade, whose
sleeves spanned the stage. This shadow was Seraphita, danced by
Mana Hashimoto, who happens to be totally sightless. The narrative
remained clearer on the page than the stage, realized as it was
with repetitious, unphysical movement, but it was fascinating to
watch Hashimoto negotiate the space, using subtle threads taped
to the floor to guide her.
From Glen Ridge, NJ, the New York Performing Artist Company brought
"Gypsy Tales," an hour-long program more geared for kids than grownups,
but entertaining nonetheless. The performers entered through the
aisles to an Italian folk tune; then Samara, Reyna, and Andrea enacted
three tales to narration by their dancing emcee Morgiana. (The program
did not provide their last names.)
From Greece came a story
about gypsy girl Aliki, who saves a Shepherd (Andrea) from losing
her livestock to the Ogress (Morgiana) by hiding them in a cave,
then tricking the Ogress to her death by fire. The second, from
Spain, was a tragic story of three princesses: brave Zayda, beautiful
Zorayda, and timid Zorahayda,who contrive in cahoots with their
nanny Kadiga to elope with three handsome princes. But when push
comes to shove, the timid one backs out of the escape and regrets
it for the rest of her days. The final story, from Italy, entailed
the search by Fabiano for three fools bigger than his fiancee Franceschina,
and her parents, who get hysterical over the possibility of the
death of their hypothetical baby, Bastianelo, who isn't yet even
a twinkle in anyone's eye.
Morgiana's diction was
crystal clear, and the four women danced and acted broadly with
minimum physical exertion to get their narratives across; they succeeded.
They've been doing arts-in-education shows for over a decade and
are clearly pros at delivering entertainment at 8 a.m. to a cafetorium
full of restless third-graders. I can't vouch for the authenticity
of the dances that marked transitions and celebrations in the stories,
but so what? The six-year-old boy sitting on my right and the reviewer
sitting to his left were both entranced.
Go back to Flash Reviews