The ravin', evermore
"I Dance" is a tribute to the ecstatic culture of club kids, in dance, video and poetry.
By SARAH CARLSON
In an unabashed assertion of rave culture, "I Dance" serves up a multimedia feast of hip-hop, video shorts, spoken word, and techno titillation. Conceived and choreographed by Jenn Weber and Shira Yevin, the program is well-crafted and smart as it artfully spins the DJ-driven tale of one girl's night out clubbing.
An introductory video sets the stage with beautiful NYC nightscapes and bursts forth into full, frontal unison dance. The all-female cast consisting of Nicole Caporino, Michelle Mendoza, Bianca Soto, Krista Saunders, Weber and Yevin, sizzle through the opening sequence in a wave of maddening movement. Mimicking music-video formations, the choreography is crisp, precise and fierce, if a bit derivative. Clad in an orange jumpsuit and appropriately cornered, Prof Rockwell is the ever-present DJ who drowns the space with his driving techno beat. Immersed in sound and tempted by the energized performers, the audience must resist the urge to rush the stage and join in the fun. What is it about dancing to oblivion in an obscure, accostingly loud room that can be so alluring? Exploring this question is what "I Dance" is all about.|
The girls queue to enter a club, dressed to the hilt in innovative, shapely red outfits designed by Cat Malik. A seductive bar dance, a moment of violation, a lesbian encounter; the program samples the entire spectrum of club/rave behavior and presents it without judgement. Although literal and at times contrived, the drama successfully conveys the erotic intensity of living in the moment.
Loren Suliveres graces the stage several times with her luscious, poetic interludes. She is articulate and powerfully present as she gracefully imposes verbal order on the proceedings.
The second half has a decidedly younger, teen-age feel with a shift to grunge-in-pigtails attire. An especially clever animated club video game adds a refreshing burst of humor and ushers in a series of prop-centered sequences. Glitter and light sticks mesmerize and work to inspire the drug-induced stupor of ecstasy, while flashlights aimed at the audience put a twist in the anonymous voyeurism we've enjoyed thus far.
At first glance, the rave scene may appear to be nothing but an artificial reality offering superficial rewards. "I Dance" makes a thoughtful counter by affirming it as a place of freedom, sans judgement, a place where everything goes. Suliveres takes it one step further by describing the club scene as a "place where persona is multiplied by ten, so the people can be just them." Steeped in polished sensationalism, "I Dance" rises above its subject matter and presents the intriguing notion that sometimes we need to lose ourselves to find ourselves.
|AUGUST 21, 2001|
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Reader comments on I Dance:
Tanks! from Prof. Rockwell, Aug 23, 2001
amazing from Cari Rosner, Aug 23, 2001
review from Roger, Aug 27, 2001
related from luis suliveres, May 14, 2003
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