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  •  REVIEW: TONIGHT CLEARING, TOMORROW CLEAR

    Rosalynde LeBlanc, Miguel Anaya in Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow  Clear in Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear
    Photo by Philippe Cheng
    Rosalynde LeBlanc, Miguel Anaya in "Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear"

    Clearing the way

    Liz Gerring Dance Company's program "Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear," activates the Connelly stage with two dances that reflect a climate of conflict and questionable future.

    By LORI ORTIZ
    Offoffoff.com

    Marc Mann sets "The Choices Between Two Points" on himself and three other Gerring dancers. A field of gravity specific to the stage is created by the dancer's push and pull, and materialized in the spacey electronic music of Johnny Rocket. Mann, Miguel Anaya, Jennifer Howard, and Rosalynde LeBlanc achieve this with minimal actual contact. Mann, dramatically standing in a red light sets the field in motion with his arms leading him in opposite directions. Anaya begins downstage standing still. He seems peripheral until both men join forces, jumping, imposing; but Mann forcibly commands the space.

      
    TONIGHT CLEARING, TOMORROW CLEAR
    Choreography by: Liz Gerring, Marc Mann.
    Includes individual dances: "The Choices Between Two Points" by Marc Mann; "Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear" by Liz Gerring.
    Dancers: Liz Gerring, Miguel Anaya, Jennifer Howard, Mandy Kirschner, Rosalynde LeBlanc, Marc Mann.
    Music by: Johnny Rocket, Michael J. Schumacher.
    Sound design by: Michael J. Schumacher.
    Set design by: Ursula Scherrer.
    Costumes by: Sami Martin.
    Lighting design by: Carol Wong.

    Related links: Official site
     SCHEDULE
    Connelly Theater
    220 East 4th St. between Ave. A and B
    Dec. 2-5, 2004

    Costumes and choreography are straightforward, and clean. Changes in speed and abrupt precipitated moves engage. But casual walks are unconvincing between passages of taut dancing, as is movement performed too far into the wings. Dancing in an under lit upstage, Mann grapples in a gray area.

    The dancers are impressively synchronized in unison duets. In one, LeBlanc and Mann converse with undulating torsos. Jennifer Howard looks back over her shoulder taking full responsibility for what's comin' at her. We are tempted to reevaluate this gesture as a positive trait. She is complicit in the dance. Howard resolutely stands alone, looking upstage when the music stops.

    In "Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear" I saw a sun dappled treescape in the abstract lights and darks of Ursula Scherrer's video set. Light spots across the floor jiggle slightly as if spread by a handheld device. Michael J. Schumacher's agitated sound bytes contain scatological gurgles and blips, screeches, or dings. Liz Gerring's choreography is syncopated with the laptop score and minimal dˇcor in a pleasurable cause and effect relationship.

    Rosalynde LeBlanc, Miguel Anaya in Tonight Clearing, Tomorrow Clear  
    Photo by Eric Rosenzveig  
    Rosalynde LeBlanc, Miguel Anaya
      
    Dancey duets alternate with angular walks, slow stretches, and abrupt whipping turns and lifts. Mandy Kirschner and Liz Gerring join the family of four seen in "The Choice..." Kirschner is capable of very swift and surprising moves. Gerring looks intriguingly subversive with unpointed toes. Her character is increasingly interesting when played up by the others with sly good nature in a unison trio. Her confrontational expression in a duet with Kirschner sheds any notion of her vulnerability. She is actually in particular synch with her incredible dancers. Anaya's strength is revealed in this piece. Both Mann and Anaya are athletic in brown form fitting costumes by Sami Martin. They almost blend into the stage but for iridescent stripes on each side of their shirts and down the sides of their arms. The four women fill the stage with whirling bright flashes in dresses of the iridescent color.

      
      Liz Gerring's choreography is syncopated with the laptop score and minimal dˇcor in a pleasurable cause and effect relationship.
      
    Innovative turns and lifts ignite the spiky dance. Gerring jumps into Araya's arms; Mann throws Gerring, Leblanc trots followed by a clip-clop in the score. Cartwheels, sometimes half complete, are sophisticated elements in this aesthetic vocabulary. And in between, they never stop for well-deserved congratulations. Their multidirectional movements quote Cunningham, but bespeak of fortitude in the face of gloomy prospects.

    Touching the floor, they mine some hopeful spirit. Leblanc and then later Mann with an ear to the ground. Howard backs into the wings with a coil of turns, leaving the stage with its projected image that now evokes a muddied lake.

    DECEMBER 5, 2004
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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