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Flash Review 2, 10-9:
Seeds, Needs, and Royal Madness
Split Decision at DTW's Splitstream
By Vanessa Paige-Swanson
Copyright 2000 Vanessa Paige-Swanson
Hope Clark is fierce.
Like a sharply focused light, she pulls music out of her internal
organs, organically coordinating sound and movement. The effect,
as witnessed at Dance Theater Workshop on Saturday, is intimate
and shockingly visceral.
In her opening solo,
"Raw," Ms. Clark explores the links between femininity and creativity,
playing on words like womb, see, say, and having a baby. "Seeds"
is a duet with veteran artist Edith Stephen, an intense performer
with whom Ms. Clark shares an immediate chemistry. In "Need," Ms.
Clark is joined by Nam Holtz and Megan Brunsvold to create complex
vocal harmonies within a demanding physical structure. Each piece
is accompanied by live video feed performed by Audrey Kindred, enhancing
the choreography with layered images of the performers projected
on the back wall.
Ms. Clark's choreographic
vocabulary is simultaneously athletic and organic. Even the most
acrobatic elements are never showy; rather, they appear to be a
natural extension of the exploration of sound and movement. The
density of the work is suffused with moments of humanity and humor,
with clever wordplay as an added bonus.
Yasuko Yokoshi and Gonnie
Heggen opened the performance, part of DTW's Splitstream series,
with "Royal Madness," an improvised fantasy of monarchy juxtaposed
with the baser human desires. The movement is a clever translation
of European and Asian court dances, and provides a frame for the
crackling dialogue. Yokoshi and Heggen work brilliantly together
in improvisational partnership, but the concept falls short of sustaining
an entire piece.
The Splitstream program
repeats this Thursday and Friday, at 8 p.m. For more info, please
visit the Dance Theater Workshop web
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