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      Ariane Anthony in Where is My Pumpkin. in Eight Companies
      Ariane Anthony in "Where is My Pumpkin."
    Coming to a theater near you

    Eight under The Construction Company umbrella showcase at Trisha Brown's Studio.


    Tapas and dance were available at the Trisha Brown Studio when The Construction Company Dance Gallery Showcase featured "Eight Companies" as part of its presentation for the 48th Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference. Like appetizers, excerpts can whet the appetite. Some fare better than others.

    Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT's "writing on the wall" has a playful jazzy score by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Einy Aam, an athletic dancer, moves away and retreats back to the wall leading with elbows, shoulders, hips and feet. A projection of still photos and video shows Aam in poses, or shouting. My eyes scan the wall but stay on the dancer, still or bouncing. I think Haenggi aimed for a darker mood when Aam ends up against the wall.

    Company: The Construction Company.
    Includes individual dances: "Writing on the Wall" excerpt by Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT; from "Johnny Johnson" by Carolyn Lord and Dancers; from "Sardana" by Christopher Caines Dance Co.; "Where is my Pumpkin" by Ariane Anthony & Company; "Enamoured" excerpt by Company Rindfleisch; "Are You Lonely" by Cedric Neugebauer; "Wear & Tear" by Mei-Be Whatever; "Noir" excerpt by Noemie Lafrance.

    Related links: Official site
    Showcase for the 48th Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference, January 7th at Trisha Brown Studio.

    Carolyn Lord combines war and humor in "Johnny Johnson." Emily Stone staves off the enemy with elegant long leg extensions, deep lunges, and precise port de bras to the music of Kurt Weill. The intimate space suits the etched lines and easygoing, riveting manner of her brave soloist soldier.

    Christopher Caines is an ambitious choreographer. He integrates Catalan folk dance, classical ballet and flamenco in "Sardana." His choreography is technical and showy. Val Loukianovets and Christopher Woodrell opened with a strong duet while Anne Kelly watches from over her shoulder upstage. The shifts of weight and rhythm get trickier and the trios' concentration is more apparent. Ballet needs distance so the illusion of ease can be maintained.

      Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT in Eight Companies
      Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT
    Ariane Anthony displays her theatrical virtuosity in "Where is My Pumpkin?" The story about discovery suggests that you are the pumpkin you thought you lost. Her monologue only tip-toes towards feelings that her face, in the end, magnifies.

    Elka Rindfleisch bridges the 60's and the 00's in "Enamoured." The music by Chris Woltmann starts with odd guitar chords. Someone talks about Beatles songs. Rindfleisch and Nathanael Buckley touch and pull in a fleshy dance. Back to back, arching their necks, they reach one hand behind and cover each other's throat. Is it a caress or a choke? She climbs and hangs onto him as he crawls forward. Is she a support or a drag? During her vulnerable solo he stands and watches. I'd like to see the whole dance that is 55 minutes long and performed with 5 dancers.

    "Are You Lonely?" by Cedric Neugebauer starts out with Ariane Anthony separate from Katie Highamkessler and Liz Santoro. They wear dungarees and t-shirts but their rounded backs are unfriendly. Nathaniel Drake's music of plucked and banged strings changes to pulsing. The dancers gradually have too much fun to be lonely.

    Ng exists in an electric world. Eric Koziol's abrupt sound accentuates her flexing joints.  

    The last two dances "Wear & Tear" by Mei-Be Whatever (Mei-Yin Ng's choreography and performance) and Noemie Lafrance's "Noir" are especially tantalizing.

    Ng exists in an electric world. Eric Koziol's abrupt sound accentuates her flexing joints. The back wall is an image of television static. Later the cameras wrapped onto Ng's arms and legs project close-ups of her foot, face or the space. A score of African beats and the Cha-cha-cha is both familiar and strange. The combination of see through shirt and shorts, live TV, dense sound, and straight-faced movement is energizing.

    Lafrance's "Noir" was originally shown during the Whitney Biennial in a parking garage. The dancers are challenged. They face an audience in chairs not cars. Without the "environment," Jeffrey Crumrine, Jon Kowalski, Ori Lenkinski and Tori Sparks describe love affairs with movement, costumes and acting. Sexual, dangerous, and violent, the dance intrigues even in this non-site-specific world.

    JANUARY 16, 2005

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