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Flash Review 2, 4-22:
Submerged with Red Dive at Soto Velez
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000 Chris Dohse
Red Dive, the artists'
collective who received a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie)
for their site-specific performance/installation, "Inhabited '98:
Afterlives," provides an opportunity to get to know yourself better
with their current project "one less sense." Traversing the psychic
and physical spaces of this audacious interactive environment, subtitled
"vision without sight," produces an experience as private and as
singular as wiggling a loose tooth with your tongue.
In terms of theatre,
Red Dive has created a unique event. You are led blindfolded through
their installation, housed at the Flamboyan Theater in the Clemente
Soto Velez Cultural Center, in small groups. A certain healthy nervousness
is inescapable as your first guide leads you into a space ominous
with echoes. The grit of the building's decay fills your nostrils,
gusts of air tease your skin. Gentle, attentive touches direct you
through a series of tactile moments both bracing and humorous. The
guides are omnipresent; they reassure you when you hesitate, catch
you when you stumble. However, reduced to the heightened senses
in the absence of sight, your path ultimately leads to an imaginary
landscape within you. The aural and textual input of each episode
draws you deeper into an inquisitive self-awareness that mingles
nostalgia with insight. Surrendering to the unfolding sensations
might summon in some a child-like delight, while whispering to others
of the discomfort of dominance/submission.
I recommend sharing the
journey of "one less sense" with friends or lovers. You'll be invited
and/or required to sit, stand, crawl, sing and make music, taste,
listen, breathe. You'll simultaneously create and absorb your individual
"dance." I guarantee the ideas awakened will generate discussions
both disarming and enlightening. A hesitant camaraderie warms you
to your group as vision returns; with refreshed sensitivity, you
embark into the night.
"one less sense" continues
through April 30, Thursdays-Sundays 7-10:40 p.m. For more information,
call (212) 760-4951.
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