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Flash Review 1, 6-5: Direct from the Heart
Keeping Up With Jones's Vision Quest

By Chris Dohse
Copyright 2000 Chris Dohse

Angela Jones's ambition collects incongruous elements. Her concert "Unbound," seen Saturday at the Clark Studio Theater, showcased Jones's diverse abilities -- aerialist, jazz-snazzy actress, comedienne -- by juxtaposing them against guest artists and collaborators. Jones presented an intersection of theatrical forms particularly evocative of the contemporary popular imagination. However, seven dances plus miscellaneous entr'acte are too many; there's no need for a kitchen sink in a dance concert.

Jones is a beautiful woman and she dances with the kind of pizzazz that could ride the crest of America's renewed lust for dancerliness, as evidenced by those omnipresent Gap ads. In "You Got the Time?" Jones's curvaceous isolations dialogue with tapper Barbara Duffy's percussive glances: simultaneous competition and conversation. "Standing By..." (a shortened form of the work-in-progress I saw last month) proved a crowd pleaser. Jones flopped, dangled and wiggled at, on and for her man, to Tammy Wynette's classic ditty.

Gary Pozner threatened to steal the show. His piano composition for "Mare Nostrum," played live, flowed through the mind with ineffable fluidity, and his video installation for "Grace" added a needed layer of subtlety and complexity to Jones's straight-forward interpretation of Jane Siberry.

Generally, Jones seems drawn to texts and songs with strong narrative content, but her current dances don't significantly complicate that source material. This literalness weakens her charismatic performance and her strongly designed compositions. Her talent for directly-communicated heart, a rare essence, becomes subsumed into another's vision.

In Eva Evdokimova-Gregori, Jones has found a sweet facility to deliver an ephemeral persona. Evdokimova-Gregori's ornately detailed gestures perfectly complemented her characterization of an Edwardian lady in "Where Everything that is Desirable Meets...", to Virginia Woolf's "The Waves."

Sometimes a flair for cross-discipline can be cross-purposive. The singers (Anne Ricci, Erin Browne and Andrea Browne) of "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle!" filled the stage with such insouciance, the dance Jones and her partner executed simultaneously irritated. I didn't want to tear myself away from one to engage in the other. The trapeze fait accompli of "Sleeping Beauty Lies," while breathtaking of itself, occurred like two solos happening at the same time, confusingly.

I should disclaim that I have limited familiarity with the popular entertainment stuff of Jones's salad. But my personal vote is that she jettison the dictated content of otherbodies' subject matters. This little light of hers, she oughtta let it shine.

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