back to Flash Reviews
Flash Review 2, 4-25:
Windows Into the Humane
CIE. 2 in 1 with NYC 3 at DTW
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000 Chris Dohse
CIE. 2 in 1 is a company
of two, Hungarian Akos Hargitai and Austrian Michaela Pein. They
previously showed a duet, "Garlic Kiss," in Dance Theater Workshop's
1998 eastern European showcase "East of Eden." While in New York,
they initiated collaborative projects with three U.S. choreographers
-- Alan Good, Joanna Mendl Shaw and Vicky Shick. Three separate
residencies in Budapest culminated in an evening of four duets (the
fourth created by CIE. 2 in 1 themselves) shown at DTW last night
(and repeating May 1).
Hargitai is compact,
Pein petite. She is pumpkin-haired, and often pauses in her dancing
to fix the audience in an impassive, mannequin-like gaze. If his
house is built of brick, hers is made of wind. The American choreographers
have crafted material that takes a backseat to the couple's personalities,
their way of knowing each other, their sometimes mysterious intimacy.
Shick's "napok es evek
(days and years)" makes a circus of everyday objects, postures and
attitudes. The piece formats the lack of artifice that is both performers'
strength and takes its time to unfold, without the schtick-packed
gimmickry prevalent in much of downtown dance. Hargitai's translucent
shirt and Pein's lamé skirt suggest faded gladrags; a vocabulary
of fragmented, pedestrian non-sequiturs returns them again and again
to the workaday.
The partnering and circular
travelling in Mendl Shaw's "Possession" reveal her interest in ice
dancing. Pein begins as a bird-insect-arachnid in the hub or her
nest while Hargitai orbits her periphery. What might be the spasms
of a mating scrimmage ensue, and he is much the worse for the effort,
left to convulse among their debris.
The rejection of Aristotelian
logic and inattention to the proscenium's fourth wall of Alan Good's
"The Extra Normal Dog" can only be called Cunninghamesque. Good's
movement is his own, though, culled equally from the quotidian and
the quirky. A soundscore (Max Nagl Quartet, Blindman's Kwartet),
filtered through an effect that projects it just on the edge of
hearing, stretches patience, but emphasizes a certain outside-of-time
quality to Pein and Hargitai's repetitive misconnections.
In "Tango of a Faune,"
the duet made by CIE. 2 in 1, their actorly presence recedes, while
their dancing selves loosen up. He bounces and flops her like a
little doll at first, before she returns the favor with a typical
inscrutability that might harbor glee, to Astor Piazzolla. Just
as the piece seems about to shift into a hotter, funnier gear, it's
over. (Perhaps only a fragment?)
As is indicated on the
postcard advertising this performance, these duets share an interest
in "the human being behind the performer." All four choreographers
have found skills within themselves and each other that transcend
cultural and geographic borders to open windows into the humane.
back to Flash Reviews