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Review 2, 11-10: Pedal to the Metal
Nibroll's Melodramatic "Dry Flower"
By Beliz Demircioglu
Copyright 2004 Beliz Demircioglu
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NEW YORK -- Seen this
past Thursday at the Kitchen, Nibroll's theatrical performance "Dry
Flower" brought a different perspective to examining the ever-changing
definition of beauty. Different stories were told throughout from
multiple characters' points of view, exploring their frustrations,
pain and suffering.
Choreographed by Mikuni
Yanaihara, "Dry Flower" conveyed an intense energy with pauses of
calmness. The dancers' full force as individuals and their harsh
relationships were revealed as they kicked the floor or each other,
or pushed a colleague to the floor. Sometimes Yanaihara was able
to capture a pure, childlike, free and simple quality of movement,
even incorporating movements from children's games; at other points,
her movements had an overwhelming intensity, especially in the upper
body, going so far as to evoke epileptic attacks.
The strength of the
choreography was in the choreographer's precise direction of the
dancers' visual focus. Strong lines onstage were created with the
dancers' sharp and directional looks, Yanaihara accentuating the
lines with the movement.
She also involved spoken
language in some sections to communicate the exact feeling of the
moment. In one instance, a performer laid down on the floor and
screamed "I don't miss you!" as another dancer -- apparently representing
one of her memories -- stood on her back. Performers also told brief
stories or repeated certain lines to bring humor and variety to
the piece. At one point, a dancer confessed several times, "I think
I shouldn't touch it but I did it many times" before finally touching
Unexpected moments were
interesting ideas by themselves but in relation to the rest of the
piece they felt out of place. One such interlude came when two upstage
spots projected suddenly and with blinding intensity directly into
the audience. Later, a woman emerged from a small suitcase and started
My favorite part of
"Dry Flower" had one of the dancers entering with a mirror and then
playing with the lighting effect the mirror created on other dancers
and when reflected towards the audience.
A full projection covering
the whole background and the opened up wings created a fuller space
rather than a stage that was separated from the audience. The video
projections, by Keisuke Takahashi, ranged from cliche three-dimensional
figures which almost looked like screen savers to a provocative
video collage of constantly changing images followed by a view of
a moving sky. Even though the dance and the projection were independent
most of the time, the two elements interacted in two passages. The
first came when a dancer started watching the video projection of
a deer and pursued the animal when it began running. The other came
at the performance's conclusion, when some dancers opened their
arms to the sides, echoed by a projection of people opening their
arms. As the projected figures fell back, birds took flight from
inside of them. Some of these collapses were synchronized with those
by the live dancers. As all the performers fell down to the floor
the screen filled with birds. The dancers slowly stood up onstage
as the crash of breaking glass was heard. As they stood, they could
only be seen in soliloquy because the only lighting was that of
In my opinion the facial
expressions and "Dry Flower"'s choreography in general were too
dramatized. The extremes were carried too far in most of the elements.
There were a few times in the performance when audience members
had to cover their ears because of the volume of the music.
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