Dance Companies Save Money
featured photo

Go back to Flash Reviews
Go Home

Flash Review, 6-19: A Weekend Following Anton
....In Kookie Goshen and Storytelling Wells

By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000 Chris Dohse

At one point in Martita Goshen's "Threshold," her voice on a taped recording asked, "Can you hear my skin?" I'm not sure my ears are that sensitive, but I would smile to be a pebble in her shoe. What a lovable kook Goshen is -- to brave comparison to Isadora on a hilltop near Athens, to squish through the muds of Ireland. Films of her site-specific creations in those places were projected behind her company Earthworks's one-night-only performance at the Kaye Playhouse Friday. Goshen's singular vision of the primordial connection between human bodies and the ancient Earth arose like a mirage of voluptuous dancing: Two communities -- one filmed, one live -- listening to each others' intricacies and elemental energies.

An initial trio - Goshen, Anton Wilson (more on him later) and Rachel Berman -- caressed the floor in organic heaps, waving their arms like stones happy to greet the stream of light Aaron Cope washed over them. Berman dripped and swam though mucilaginous space as others watched. Divine Gorecki floated in and out of the soundscore as two dancers on the screen flirted with a cloud mass. The dancing contained an embarrassment of riches and the dancers looked like people inspired, people without bones a lot of the time. People nestled into pockets of air. Isadora's presence was inescapable, especially in the herbacious garlands of Greece, but Dalcroze and von Laban were there too, in Goshen's vocabulary of contemplative acuity. The two landscapes became vastly real, vistas of air, water and earth filled with dancers moving together like fish do.

Saturday night at the Gene Frankel Theater, Anton Wilson wrapped himself around an entirely different style in Lynne Wells's "Beneath the Surface." Wells's two-act montage presented the interior lives of a collection of New York City types, who came forward to reveal themselves in soliloquies variously spoken, danced and sung. I must confess I've begun to distrust storytelling in dances, especially when it's heartfelt. However, Wells acknowledged the limitations of that very quality in a way that dispelled reservations. In a section called "Bad News," she worried that she's too "honest" but not "vivid" enough to achieve a theatrical career. Belying her doubts, the personalities she created were entirely vivid, and their veracity was their strength. Abetted by William Norman's songs and an additional dance by Leda Meredith, Wells conquered a multi-talented theatrical hyphenate with forthright Midwestern ingenuity: writer-choreographer-director-performer-producer.

In "To Day," Wilson began by introducing an alphabet of gestures that were a bit too literal and too tied to his script, but were later smartly manipulated by Wells into group patterns, skillfully reiterated. Her dance vocabulary often ranged into high-end phrases -- jetes, pirouettes, arabesques, battements -- that threatened to escape the confines of the stage. Her jazz idiom didn't always suit the characterizations portrayed in her text. A solo for Valeria Solomonoff best employed movement as an extension of character.

Go back to Flash Reviews
Go Home