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Flash Review 2, 5-1:
Choreographers in the Middle at Studio 5-2
By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000 Chris Dohse
Gina Gibney's Studio
5-2, cached in the fifth floor guts of 890 Broadway where everybody
dances, launches another venue to see choreographers in the middle.
The six artists in its second showcase, a co-production with Jean
Vitrano and Danspace Project called the "Out of Space Series," are
all female. All have reached a plateau professionally; they're no
longer "emerging," but perhaps not yet "arrived." A narrative trajectory
within their dances describes aspects of female identity, from childhood
awkwardness to empowerment. The works are strengthened by committed
performances that, together, form an uncommonly rich evening of
Marta Miller's "pass/fail"
focuses on the time of life that took Lulu "from crayons to perfume."
Miller, joined by Johanna Hegenscheidt and Aislinn MacMaster, seems
more interested in the concerns of real teenagers, like boogers
and boobies. Before a fence of school desks, the three are eager
at first to get the right answer to the question of themselves.
Miller opens a window into adolescent cruelty by showing the potential
violence of a pugilistic clapping game. The piece fades on the trio
bopping and frugging -- perhaps at the end of puberty's clumsiness,
grrrrls just wanna have fun.
Kristi Spessard is also
caught in a moment of becoming in her solo, "Seed." Her destination,
though, is the boozy street lamp spotlight of Kurt Weill.
Two group works establish
radically different communities of the archetypically feminine.
The four figures in Melissa Briggs's "Small Things 3" portray ghostly,
robed, rosy-cheeked acolytes. Briggs's complex but subtle structure
captures her dancers' nuanced performances like bees in honey. Love
definitely ain't no many splendored thing for the three Amazons
in Ellis Wood's "Feeling Lila." They strut and mark their territory
with a scary athleticism that mimics lust's crippling deliciousness.
Wood, Monica Bill Barnes and Jennifer Phillips are ferocious Maenads,
possessed by a fierce ecstasy.
Marika Chandler and
Marya Wethers communicate through gestural bubbles and squeaks in
the unexpected angles of Faye Driscoll's "Interaction of Both."
Margi Young's "Honey,
I'm Home" paints a bleak, gruesome fable of the nuclear family that
is part Freud, part Fellini, and all Grimm. Her nightmarish psychodrama
blurs the comic and tragic; she targets an ambitious design and
sticks to her guns. Lara Hayes and Stephanie Liapis, portraying
twins, create an unforgettable image when they snip their own umbilical
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