featured photo

Go back to Flash Reviews
Go Home

Flash Review 2, 4-22: Uncommon 'Sense'
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.

Go back to Flash Reviews
Go Home