Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cori Olinghouse's "Ghost lines"

Cori Olinghouse’s Ghost line at Danspace. Photo by Alex Escalante.
Artists and entertainers demonstrated conflicting reactions to the brutalities of World War I. Entertainment dulled the dark memories with kicky Charleston moves, vaudevillian antics, and silent movies featuring eccentric, physical comedians like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Art turned perverse, countering the trauma with rambunctious Dadaists and their readymades while Surrealists invented a deranged beauty. The superficial differences were vast, yet an absurdist undercurrent surged through both.

Cori Olinghouse explores this intersection in her two-piece program for Danspace. Opening with.....

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tere O'Connor's "Bleed"

Tere O’Connor’s “Bleed” at BAM. Photo by Ian Douglas. 

Tere O’Connor’s “Bleed,” the result of a two-year process, folds three past works (“poem,” “Secret Mary,” and “Sister”) into a single sixty-minute piece for a cast of 11. Intrigued by how dances imprint themselves on the mind, body, and spirit, O’Connor appropriates the phantoms from his past choreographies to create an archive of new and old impulses.

The piece opens with Heather Olson, willowy in an emerald green frock, performing jaunty triplets and tracing sinewy crescents with her arms. Four male dancers line up like sentries at the back of the stage. They catch her as she crumples, body buckling reflexively.

O’Connor adopts the stance that dance making should be divorced from the themes, variations, and cyclic rhythms that characterize music composition. Preferring to embrace the infinite possibilities of movement.....

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Martha Clarke’s Chéri

Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Martha Clarke’s Chéri at Signature Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus. 

Colette's advice to budding authors was, “No narration, for heaven’s sake! Just brush strokes and splashes of color, and there is no need for a conclusion…. Liberate yourself!”  Choreographer Martha Clarke takes this directive to heart in her adaption of Colette’s beloved novel, Chéri, shunning straightforward story for emotional peaks and valleys. A tale of a steamy, star-crossed relationship between middle-aged courtesan Lea and vain, youthful Chéri, it examines the tangled knot of love and desire.

Dance, which uses the language of metaphor to explore internal states, is not always well suited to complicated narratives. In “Chéri,” Clarke skirts around this issue by.......

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast