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Flash Review 1, 9-15:
Sex, Violence, Beauty from Dancenow Downtown
By Maura Nguyen Donohue
Copyright 2000 Maura Nguyen Donohue
The eight works performed
at last night's 7 PM offering of dancenow downtown's Double Feature
series at Joyce Soho revealed many a key element to modern day urban
life. We got sex, violence, beauty and betrayal all wrapped up in
a tidy, and tightly run, package.
By package I mean the
entire program, but I could as easily be speaking of Incidents Physical
Theater's "Gauge (Part 1)." They were hot, sexy and mean. They rock
and when I see dance I want to see what they're doing. These people
are dancing. They're dancing hard and they're dancing well. Choreographers
Christina Briggs and Edward Winslow, joined by Mark Drahozal and
Sarah Lewis, pull no punches from beginning to end. From the moment
we hear Michael Minard's percussive music and the lights reveal
them they are moving at full force. Patti Gilstrap's smart and sexy
costumes of black leather, pleather and vinyl accentuate the movement
and pacing of "Gauge." The partnering work is fantastic with constantly
shifting formations. There's also enough unison and non-partnered
group work to remind us that we're watching dancers and not just
some kind of contact improv circus. Sarah Lewis ends alone onstage,
making her way through a frantic, but somehow graceful, solo.
Monica Bill Barnes presents
a luscious, delightful solo for herself in "Upset Woman Dance."
With tongue-in-cheek, and long wavy hair down, she tosses her way
through a humorous romp of scorn while never letting go of her obvious
technical prowess. She is a witty and welcoming performer. Jane
Gabriel's solo "Honoring" has an entirely different tone but her
performance is powerful. She begins in darkness, speaking with her
soothing and seductive voice, and then moves through pained gestures
and movement. I admittedly squirmed during some of the poetry but
her sincere performance kept my attention and her ending utterance
of "betrayal" caught and held me well into the next dance. Elise
Knudson was often caught and held with a long hanging cloth that
served like a low flying trapeze in "Cocoon." Witnessing the various
manipulations was interesting and the images of her dangling and
spinning were gorgeous. However, some sort of context would have
helped me feel like I wasn't just watching fantastic feats. Guta
Hedewig begins up against the wall and adeptly rolls and balances
her way through her solo "Binderies."
"Enfold" is a fleeting
duet for Robin Staff and Peter Anzalone by Zvi Gotheiner. Both dance
with an effortless beauty of manner, form and style. The dance is
full of light prancing steps and ends with an eloquent gesture of
two hands meeting. I think that either Gina Jacobs's women's quintet
"Dither" is either wrongly named or I just saw the more composed,
more resolute section excerpted. Jacobs is joined by Sarah Adams,
Jennifer Dignan, Joy Havens and Tori Sparks. This is a group of
young women who don't seem hesitant in the least.
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