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Review 1, 3-24: Little Things Mean a Lot
Inflections in Post-modern eye
By Gus Solomons jr
Copyright 2004 Gus Solomons jr
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NEW YORK -- Danspace
Project at St. Mark's Church brought Charles Linehan from England
(March 18-21) with a concise program of two dances: a duet and a
quartet. Linehan is a master minimalist, creating, with input from
his terrific dancers, a stream of motion matrix, into which he inserts
hints of emotional relationships, humor, and delightful kinetic
Linehan builds dense
kinetic textures of continuous movement: swiveling torsos, jolted
into new directions by loosely swung arms and bobbing heads; hopping,
sliding, and crouching though space on supple legs. Motifs repeat
and recombine with slight variations; then sparingly, new elements
appear. The dancers maintain matter-of-fact demeanors; they wear
color-coordinated street clothes and black, rubber-soled shoes for
In "Grand Junction,"
previously reviewed here, Andrea Rauch moves to and fro in piercing side
light (lighting by Mikki Kunttu, adapted by Fay Patterson). Then
Greig Cooke, who waits downstage in silhouette, springs into action.
They move without obvious awareness of each other, although they
sometimes fall into unison, facing differently. Gradually, over
the course of 25 minutes, the pair begins to touch, interact, and
support each other, developing an engaging, multi-faceted relationship.
Melodic or electronic
crashing or darkly ostinato music by Kimmo Pohjonnen, Nye Parry,
and a commissioned piece by Julian Swales provide aural support.
The sound texture changes mood with each section, even though it
never gives overt rhythmic or dynamic cues. Tall, strongly built,
flexible, and infinitely resilient Rauch radiates her extreme joy
of moving; Cooke, lean and lanky, maintains a more solemn demeanor.
The sure-footed, polished dancers perform with improvisational fluency,
yet, as split second timing of seamless lifts attests, extreme precision.
"New Quartet" begins
with Cooke, dancing alone then with Rauch in a haze that articulates
Patterson's low, horizontal lighting. Rachel Vonmoos replaces Rauch
as Cooke's partner. Her moving is equally supple but with a more
direct attack. After Cooke leaves, small, bearded Ben Ash joins
Vonmoos briefly, before a duet for the women. This piece has music
by Swales, William Basinski, and someone named simply Gate.
In a duet for Vonmoos
and Ash, what seem like glancing touches become preparations for
lifts. Ash grabs Vonmoos's ankles, and she does a jump but goes
nowhere, anchored by his grip. Cooke tilts Vonmoos in the air while
she scissor-kicks, as if running in outer space; later, Ash keeps
changing the direction of her walking by grabbing her upper thighs.
With such inventive details Linehan inflects the familiar post-modern
lexicon with an accent all his own.
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