real dance theatre

Anne Gadwa, in "I Dream of Monster Babies"

Through fully half of the piece the dancers performed in complete darkness, but it wasn't really a problem, since a suited gentleman sat at front, stage right, reading a description by penlight.

It was that kind of a program tonight at the latest of Dance Theater Workshop's regular "Fresh Tracks" events, which schedules innovative new choreographers, sometimes for their first public exposure. I eat this stuff up - in any medium.

The light-challenged choreography was the eccentric work of Renée Archibald and Daryl Owens, who were the two actual dancers. The piece was called "Subject Obscured" and it may have had something to do with the question about the tree falling in the forest, but if so, here the question was both more and less profound. The dance was delightful.

Most of the pieces were humorous and most were text-based, or maybe the texts were dance-based. In any event it was very good dance theatre which hugely honored the name and the mission of this irreplaceable venue on 19th Street tonight.

We look forward to seeing every one of the choreographers on tonight's program again wherever they next surface. The others were Pascale Wettstein, who collaborated with her dancers in a brilliant engineering of space and a bizarre manipulation of limbs to both a jerky and buoyant effect; Ivy Baldwin, who was in a collaboration with her own dancers, who performed an intimate and abusive bathing ritual with two beautiful transparent tubs of water; Anne Gadwa, who shared her nightmares of pregnancy (including the dramatic birth of a giant plastic bottle of Pepsi) with a delighted audience; Melinda Ring, whose work reminded Barry of the childlike effect Eric Satie hoped to produce in his music; and finally, Linas Phillips and John Wyszniewski, whose performance with Jo Williamson remains absolutely indescribable, but it may suffice to say the material had something to do with an invented slavic myth about overstimulated teenagers and the poaching of the spirits of dead rabbits. The music was Black Sabbath.

[image from the Village Voice]

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Published on November 11, 2003 11:12 PM.

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