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  •  REVIEW: THE MONSTER BABY PROJECT

    The Monster Baby Project

    A strange fruit womb

    Anne Gadwa's "Monster Baby Project" animates her imaginings of freaky progeny.

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Ah, dance. Dwell effectively on one topic long enough and it becomes art. Anne Gadwa has been mining the subject of "monster" babies and the universal fears and nightmares that create them long enough to put together a pretty interesting piece.

      
    THE MONSTER BABY PROJECT
    Choreography by: Anne Gadwa.
    Dancers: Maggie Burkle, Christine Doempke, Anne Gadwa.
    Singer: Alison Duncan
     SCHEDULE
    WOW Cafe Theater
    59 East 4th St. (btw. 2nd Ave & Bowery)
    Jan. 22-31, 2004

    To underscore the millenia that people have worried about abnormal babies, the night began with a traditional Irish song of a Silkie (half-man, half-seal) explaining to his human lover that she would give birth to a Silkie baby and predicting that she would later marry a human hunter who would kill him and the baby.

    Music and traditional song played further supporting roles as the piece progressed, running through a litany of various animal and inanimate babies (dog, bird, pig, missing link primate, toy cowboy) as well as multi-limbed and limbless and, just to keep things silly, a two-liter bottle of Pepsi baby, a scene Gadwa concludes with "I don't even LIKE soda...I never have."

    Other memorable bits were Christine Doempke dancing with her steel-globe-encased all-limbs-and-no-torso baby while singing and talking to it entirely in German, playing Little Piggy and commanding the kid to play with her; Maggie Burkle's dream involving all her female relatives watching as she gives birth to full-grown Michael Dukakis, and a disturbingly silly girly trio song of attraction/repulsion in which exclamations of "eeeeeww" morph into feline mews and the three dancers end up sleeping like cats on one another.


      
    "I dream of monster babies. How about you?"  

      
    The music chosen throughout the piece worked really well, especially in Burkle's solo to Dvorjak and Gadwa's inspired ending solo to a heavy metal version of Rosemary's Baby music.

    After this show, the Monster Baby Project will be shelved for awhile at the request of presenters, but this culmination of six versions of the show works well. See www.annegadwa.org for more.

    JANUARY 28, 2004
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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