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Flash Review 3, 6-26: Eight Up from 40 Up
40-somethings' Church Dance

By Terry Hollis
Copyright 2000 Terry Hollis

On Saturday at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, Colloquium Contemporary Dance Exchange (director, Robin Staff), presented 40 Up 2000, a celebration of seasoned dancers and choreographers.

As the lights come up on Walter Dunderville in Heidi Latsky's "See Me," he appears to be a man with a mission. Costumed in dark rehearsal wear and accompanied by a pulsing techno beat he moves through a set of weighted and technically demanding phrases that escalate in both difficulty and intensity. At one point Mr. Dunderville stands in place and, with his eyes closed, moves through a series upper body gestures. A dance that seems to be about ability turns out to be more of a physical meditation.

In "What Comes To The Surface," choreographed by Debra Wanner, Ms. Wanner moves in and out of a stationary pool of light, testing the ground under her. At certain points she abruptly cuts into dutiful walks or lies motionless on the floor. After examining all of her possibilities in this new territory she ends by moving back into her beginning position. The solo is set to the music of Debussy.

"Half Full," choreographed and performed by David Parker, takes us through one woman's preparation for a night out. Parker, in a black dress, provides the sound by playing the rim of a wine glass. As he takes sip after sip the rhythms he hammers out with his feet become more passionate and the balletic positions that wind through the piece show us a lady confident of her own femininity.

Zvi Gotheiner's "Enfold" offers three views of togetherness. Valerie Vann-Oettl and Franz Oettl almost glide across the stage with their infant son Raphael Oettl in an image that approaches utopia. Robin Staff and Peter Anazalone engage each other in a playful, fast moving duet. The last duet, performed by Christine Wright and Dirk Platzek, moves seamlessly and demonstrates the rapture that can bond two people.

Youth was the Primary focus in Faye Driscoll's "Foo Is Foo Was," to music by Belle and Sebastain. The quirky choreography (performed by Lisa Nicks) was full of quick mood changes and the restlessness that is the foundation of growing up. "Elizabeth's Solo," choreographed and performed by Eva Welchman uses a sharp percussive score to contrast the sometimes fragile movement.

Amos Pinhasi uses images of birth, sleep, and concealment in his piece "Canyons." As he covers himself and emerges from a large piece of brown paper he appears to be working towards some kind of separation. Although the piece ends with him covered on the floor, he doesn't seem trapped.

The program ended with "Between The Lines," Claire Porter's sometimes funny look at conformity and individuality. Using word-play and performers forming every possible variation of a line, Ms. Porter illustrates how we unwittingly fall into customs and lose some of the free thought that separates us. The performers included Ms. Porter, Barbara Canner, Karen Eubanks, Ara Fitzgerald, Martha Hirschman, Susan Mathews, Paulette Sears, Susan Thomasson and Dawn Watson.

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